A recent lawsuit settlement will be struck down by the state Supreme Court (“Island County to pay $16.5 million over fatal fiery crash,” The Herald, May 5). The county highway department is not responsible for bad driving, not trees, nor acts of god or ice on road. It is not the highway department building unsafe cars, nor gasoline burning people. Car drivers need to stop blaming.
The solutions: Reduce the speed limit island wide 10 mph on curves. Put in more parking for cars. Put in better bicycle safety with crash barriers. Clean the debris off the road shoulder. Have Island Transit put in frequent bus routes. Have the bus get on the ferry to SeaView Transit Center; thus tying the entire Island Transit system to the SWIFT/Sound Transit. Get cars off the road.
If every car driver sued the highway department for “negligence,” there would be no money left for repairing roads. While engineers do strive to create the “forgiving” highway still there is a law of physics involved and cost. Lawyers could falsely claim every foot of pavement to be negligence. It’s why we have insurance on cars.
This $16.5 million can be used to make highways safer. While I am deeply sorry for the lost of life, this is “public property” not “private property.” The taxpayer is not liable for bad driving.