I think this decision was still a little weak based on the outcome; but breaking it down: the guy got more time for doing nothing (relatively speaking of course) than someone who actually kills another person with their automobile.
What was the driver sentenced to? Sure, what the mechanic did was pretty shitty. It’s not clear from the article if he did nothing or attempted and botched the repair – either way, it definitely sucks.
Regardless, it’s still the driver’s responsibility to make sure the vehicle is operating properly. If there isn’t the equivalent of FAR 91.3 for drivers (especially commercial ones), there obviously should be.
91.3 (a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.
I would say that most people feel they are superior when it comes to what someone else does wrong (i.e. the Monday morning quarterback).
In the case of the mechanic, the issue is more that he didn’t do what he was supposed to do at work. So I would think a juror would have thought “I would never do such a ghastly thing, let alone lie about it.”
And when it comes to a driver negligently running a cyclist off of the road, he/she might say “I would never be so careless.” Sadly, we rarely get to see the outcome of this situation because Prosecutors aren’t taking it this far.
I’d like to hear more about what failed to cause the crash. Modern braking systems on vehicles have redundant systems to prevent you from loosing brakes all together. Something really bad mush have gone wrong to loose the brakes.
@salty: 99% of the pilots of vehicles on the road are not qualified to diagnose what is wrong. That is why we have the yearly safety inspections in this state. There are a lot of people who think that is the only maintenance they need to do to their vehicle.
Jason – I like your point. I often wonder what our society would look like if everybody had to drive a manual transmission and be qualified and able to diagnose and repair what is wrong with it (with appropriate accomidations made to the handicap-able as necessary). Not necessarily forced to do so, those with means could still pay others, but forced to demonstrate competance at it, at least once in life. There’d be fewer drivers, heck, I’d probably just avoid the hassle and never get my learn on for cars.
The gear heads would be able to enjoy their sunday drives with a lot less traffic. There’s be a lot more morons on bicycles. Mass transit gripes would be schedule and cleanliness related, rather than route cuts. Maybe lots of other things would be different.