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I'm going to be spending Christmas break in juvie for reckless driving

 
 
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2023 08:02 am
How did I (17/F/USA) get myself into this mess? Well, the short version of the story is I caused a multi-vehicle accident by speeding and by looking at my phone when I should've been watching the road. It was a minor miracle that no one was killed or even hurt by my stupidity.

My sentencing hearing was yesterday. The judge over my case decided my offense warranted sending me to juvie. But he also didn't want my doing time to interfere with school, especially with mid-terms just around the corner. As a compromise, he decided that I will be spending Christmas break in juvenile detention. All 19 days of it. From the evening of Dec. 19th until the evening of Jan. 7th, I'm going to be locked up.

I haven't had a chance to tell many people about my situation yet. I did tell me best friend yesterday and her reaction really surprised me. She thinks my sentence is over the top and ridiculous since it was just an accident. My parents also think I'm getting a raw deal. Am I though? Maybe no one was hurt, but that was due more to luck than anything. And my actions definitely resulted in property damage. Lots of it. And I was definitely aware that reckless driving is more than a traffic violation, but a serious misdemeanor. I was also aware that what I was doing qualified as reckless driving. I guess I just didn't think I'd be one of the people who had something bad happen because of it.

So yeah, it's hard for me to see how I'm getting anything other than what I deserve. What do you think? Am I wrong for thinking this? Or are my parents and my friend wrong? I'm curious to see what others think about this.

One thing's for sure though. I definitely learned a real lesson and will never be careless behind the wheel again. I promise.
 
Mame
 
  3  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2023 08:38 am
@idoxedthefox,
I agree with your assessment. Distracted driving is serious, as you have found out. Speeding is serious, as you have found out. 19 days in juvie is a minor sentence, IMO, and there will be other Christmases. What punishment do your parents and friend think are fitting?
0 Replies
 
RPhalange
 
  3  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2023 09:30 am
@idoxedthefox,
You know I work with teens. Your comments show me you do realize your actions and realize how severe your actions could have been. I do applaud you for recognizing this. To simply state this, the others are wrong and you are right. You made a really bad decision that caused like you said much damage.

It could also have caused even more than you realize. One of these people maybe has low income, you destroyed their car and now it will be very difficult to get a replacement even with their insurance settlement. Maybe someone was driving to an important job interview and now that missed this opportunity. So many impacts this poor decision may have had on others that you do not even realize. I am not saying this so you feel bad, just to understand that this is not a small infraction.

I am glad for you and the others that no one was killed or hurt. It would be a really tough burden for you. I honestly think you being punished in this way believe it or not will lessen the guilty feeling you would have if you were not in juvenile detention. Take your punishment and learn for it. Imagine if the court system let people go for this? What would they learn? They may likely do this again and next time kill someone.

Look at this way, if someone put a gun to your head and threatened to kill you, but when they shot the gun it jammed so you were unharmed. Should this person not be punished?

I think you are a good person who made a very dumb and dangerous decision. I think you will do well in the future and am actually proud that you feel you deserve to be disciplined appropriately. The 19 days will be short in the scheme of things and likely be life changing for you. Good luck.
0 Replies
 
bobsal u1553115
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2023 01:29 pm
@idoxedthefox,
A tough sentence for someone who seems to own up completely with the situation, but a fair one.

Go and sin no more!
0 Replies
 
idoxedthefox
 
  2  
Reply Tue 5 Dec, 2023 05:35 pm
My parents and friends (the ones I've had a chance to talk to about this) all seem to think probation with community service would be a more appropriate punishment. I was starting to feel like the only one taking this seriously until I saw everyone's responses so far. Thank you for letting me know I'm not crazy for thinking/feeling the way I do right now.
glitterbag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2023 12:40 am
@idoxedthefox,
I think you are behaving responsibly, my favorite sentence is: "One thing's for sure though. I definitely learned a real lesson and will never be careless behind the wheel again. I promise."

I don't know why your sentence was given in such a form, but try to stay out off trouble and get out neat and clean. Good Luck to you.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2023 06:49 am
This news article may help. Big debate going on over here right now.

Quote:
‘It’s not their fault’: calls for curbs on young drivers after fatal Welsh crash

After the death of four teens, many are asking if restrictions such as on night driving or carrying passengers could save young lives

The number of passersby who paused at the police cordon blocking the narrow, winding country road in north Wales where four teenagers died was striking.

They wanted, primarily, to express their sorrow and send messages of comfort to the relatives and friends of Jevon Hirst, 16, Harvey Owen, Wilf Fitchett, both 17, and 18-year-old Hugo Morris. But many felt compelled also to share their family or community’s stories of losing young people in road accidents. Some were in tears as the described an agony that never goes away – and many asked if more needed to be done to reduce such tragedies.

Owen’s mother, Crystal, described him on Friday night as the “most precious soul” and a “unique” and “special” person. “I can’t accept that I won’t be able to hold him again or tell him I love him again,” she said. In a statement issued through North Wales police, she said her son had touched “many people along the way”. “There are absolutely no words to describe the pain we are feeling,” she added.

Although it is too soon to say what caused the crash that cost the lives of the four college students from Shrewsbury, and there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing on the boys’ part, it has inevitably led to calls for politicians to look again at measures to help reduce the number of young people killed on the roads. Suggestions include a graduated driving licensing (GDL) system that would put restrictions on new, younger drivers.

“This is an awful tragedy but we know of many others very similar,” said Lucy Straker, campaigns manager for the road safety charity Brake. “But we don’t have any movement from the government. If you know there’s an issue, why aren’t we doing something to stop it?”

The statistics are stark. In 2022 in Britain, about a fifth of all fatal or serious injury crashes involved young people. Young male car drivers aged 17 to 24 are four times as likely to be killed or seriously injured than over-25s.

“We want to make sure the age group isn’t blamed, because it’s not their fault,” said Straker. “There’s a lot of work on brain chemistry around that age – you are taking risks. Coupled with not having the driving experience, it’s a perfect storm. Too many young people are losing their lives. It’s a tragedy for their families, for communities, for colleges, for everyone.”

Elizabeth Box, research director at the RAC foundation, said young driver safety was as serious a public health concern as drug abuse or knife crime.

“The research tells us there are many ways in which we can reduce death and serious injury within this at-risk group, and they have been shown to work in other countries. The issue now is not analysis but political will. We need decision makers to take action.”

Earlier this month, Box published research setting out some of the challenges faced by young people who have recently passed their tests. New drivers, for example, tend not to have the “eye-glancing behaviour” – spotting potential hazards – that more experienced ones have. And newly qualified drivers are up to four times more likely to die in a crash when carrying passengers of the same age than when driving alone.

Box’s research concluded that a traditional road safety campaign that included “shock” tactics could be counter-productive, prompting defensive or hostile responses, especially in boys. It detailed other measures that could help protect young drivers, such as “black boxes” that alert insurance companies and parents to poor driving.

But, she said, of all the measures that could be put in place, a GDL system, which could include a probationary period when new drivers are not allowed out late or night, or restrictions on the age of their passengers, would have the most impact.

“A phased approach to licensing, with a minimum learning period and passenger and night-time rules for young drivers, could reduce casualties from collisions involving teenage car drivers by as much as 20%.”

The crash in Snowdonia (Eryri) came in the week that Sharron Huddleston’s daughter, Caitlin, would have turned 25. She and her friend, Skye Mitchell, who was driving, died in a crash in Cumbria when both were 18.

Huddleston has become a passionate campaigner for GDL. “Many families every year are having to bury their adolescent children through an outdated driving licence system.”

She was due to meet Richard Holden, the then UK transport minister, earlier this month, but the day before their appointment he left the Department for Transport in a reshuffle.

“Young deaths through road crashes seem to be accepted by society and media,” said Huddleston. “Why? This is deeply upsetting to anyone who has lost a loved one in a horrific road traffic collision. This is a neglected problem.”

The House of Commons transport committee has looked in detail at the merits of GDL. It heard about the success of the system in other countries. In Ontario, Canada, for example, a 12-month minimum learning period, a lowered blood alcohol limit, and night-time restrictions resulted in a 42% reduction in crashes among people aged 20 to 24. In New Zealand, a form of GDL that included a restriction on carrying any passengers for the first six months of driving resulted in a 23% reduction in teenage car crash injuries.

A review in 2013 for the UK government estimated GDL could save 4,471 casualties a year. A survey has found that 68% of the British public supported the introduction of GDL.

Road safety campaigners were surprised, then, that the committee did not come out strongly in favour of GDL, appearing to take against it after hearing from 14 young people it interviewed, 13 of whom opposed night-time and passenger restrictions and expressed concern that it could affect the social and economic opportunities available to novice drivers.

Edmund King, the president of the AA, said it believed the government should restrict passengers for about six months after a driver passes their test. He also highlighted research from the AA Charitable Trust showing that 71% of fatal car crashes involving young drivers took place on rural roads. “There needs to be much more of an awareness about the dangers of rural roads,” he said. “We advocate that even learners in cities take a couple of lessons on rural roads.”

Another terrible irony of the Snowdonia crash is that it comes at a time when road safety is a hot political issue in Wales, after the Welsh government introduced a default 20mph limit in towns and villages. The administration is revising guidance on setting local speed limits in other areas in the light of the 20mph change.

The Department for Transport has no plans to introduce restrictions on younger drivers. It said: “Every death or serious injury on our roads is a tragedy. We continue to work hard to improve road safety for all users, including our Think! campaign, which is primarily aimed at young men, as well as ongoing research on how to best support the skills of newly qualified drivers.”



https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/nov/24/its-not-their-fault-calls-for-curbs-on-young-drivers-after-fatal-welsh-crash
bobsal u1553115
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2023 09:09 am
@izzythepush,
We have the same debate going on here. It's heartbreaking.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2023 10:01 am
@bobsal u1553115,
Our rural roads are something else.

This is zig zag hill just outside of Shaftesbury, there's about 7 or 8 bends like this one.

I drive down it frequently.

https://e2e.bike/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/43586974_10156804165884083_1561796026044514304_o.jpg

This is typical of a lot of them, single track with passing places along the way.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/75/Somerset_country_lane_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1306925.jpg

See how high the hedges are, certain vehicles, sports cars minis etc. can't be seen until you're right on top of them.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2023 02:33 pm
@izzythepush,
The speed limit on the above roads is 60mph.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Dec, 2023 03:44 pm
@idoxedthefox,
idoxedthefox wrote:

My parents and friends (the ones I've had a chance to talk to about this) all seem to think probation with community service would be a more appropriate punishment. I was starting to feel like the only one taking this seriously until I saw everyone's responses so far. Thank you for letting me know I'm not crazy for thinking/feeling the way I do right now.


You are very young and will be driving for a very long time to come, hopefully without future accidents. Because of your age I think the judge wanted to set a presence to frighten you enough so you'll be precautious from hereon out.
That's the same reason why young drivers speeding tickets are horrendously high - it's a deterrent to speed in the future!

Life is unforgiving in the choices we make and accountability is an important part of our actions.

You seem very mature for your age and you'll see that these 19 days will be over in no time. You'll also see a lot of teens who have spent many Christmases in Juvenile Detention and don't get out anytime soon.

Count your blessings and good luck for the future!
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Dec, 2023 06:51 am
@izzythepush,
OMG!

I think back to a few years ago while I was driving in Scotland. FWIW, where I was staying was near the famous golfer Andy Murray’s lovely 5-star hotel, Cromlix. Anyhow, I rented a car and drove down narrow curved lanes (see Izzy’s image) where the dense hedges were 15 ft tall. Typically I’m not a feint hearted driver but (steering on the opposite side) at a normal 40 mph) I had white knuckles. You never would know when someone was coming down the single-track lane so I drove with windows open so I could hear the oncoming traffic. Absolutely lovely hotel and food, incidentally.
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Dec, 2023 08:26 am
@Ragman,
Yes, my husband did some hedge-clipping on some of those roads Smile His brother got so close to one because of a car coming the other way that he snapped the mirror off the side and it flew into the back seat. It almost hit me in the head! Thank goodness we had insurance.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Dec, 2023 08:32 am
@Mame,
But it was no reflection on his driving, right?
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Dec, 2023 10:38 am
@Ragman,
No, lol
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Dec, 2023 12:44 pm
@Ragman,
60mph is the national limit on single track roads unless otherwise marked, and most country lanes are unsigned but driving that fast is unsafe and you would be done for dangerous driving or something like that.

You couldn't drive at 40mph along zig zag hill, about 10mph is about as fast as you can go.
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 8 Dec, 2023 12:49 pm
@izzythepush,
This was most likely a memory issue not a lead-foot one. I probably crept along at a snails pace….especially on the single track lanes.
0 Replies
 
 

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