June 25, 2014

Think About It………                                                                      June 25, 2014

Have you ever noticed how quickly people want to sue after even a minor mishap?

Spill a hot cup of coffee on your lap at McDonalds?  Sue ‘em!  Crash your car into a tree on private property?  Sue ‘em!   Slip on a piece of ice on some ones private walk way?  Sue ‘em!

On and on it goes. And there is always an “ambulance chasing attorney” who’ll take it to court pro-bono. It’s getting so bad and the cost of going to court is so high that insurance companies almost always just settle and pay out really big dollars.

So, that all brings up an interesting question with regard to the State of Alaska. How much is it going to cost the State and its Department of Transportation when someone crashes a four wheeler or a larger RV on State Right-of-Way along the Kalifornsky Beach Road, the Kenai Spur Highway or any other highway in the state?

You’ve seen the kids and out-of-control adults as well racing their machines on the rights of way, tearing along at speeds up to 50 miles an hour and virtually out of control the entire time. They roar along the roadway creating huge mud pockets and tearing up grass, flora and fauna as they make multiple trails of mud. In the summer its huge dust trails causing poor visibility on our highways.

Its not IF an accident is going to happen….It’s WHEN it will happen!  And you can be sure the State of Alaska will pay out the big bucks when their liability is established. And the States liability will be determined quickly by the attorneys and courts because of past issues and the Department of Transportation’s history of enforcement of right-of-way encroachment.

As everyone knows by now, the D.O.T. is very protective of its R.O.W.  Evidence the total removal of business signs on any part of the highway right-of-way for no other reason than it is D.O.T. land and Federal Highway Funding requires it.  Some buildings with roofs hanging into as little as 4 inches have been called to task for encroachment and had to seek special treatment or tear down their building.

No, D.O.T. liability for any four-wheeler or RV accident along the Spur Highway or K-Beach road will be quickly established in any suit. Can you imagine the amount of dollars a jury would award to a four-wheeler accident injury or death suit involving a young teenager?

It’s time to prohibit all four-wheeler and RV use of all State of Alaska D.O.T. Rights-of-Way with heavy $1000 fines for violation. Then demand enforcement of that rule by the Alaska State Troopers.  Riding four-wheelers on our highways is against the law. Now, It’s time to get serious about protecting the State of Alaska liability on all our highway rights-of-way. It’s time to stop the driving and riding of all four-wheeler-RV’s just off of and along our highways.

Think About It!     6-25-14

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  1. Doug 25 June, 2014, 10:09

    Honestly, every year the state closes off more land and campgrounds from atv use, so where are we to ride now. And the state pisses off more money on dumb stuff than paying out suits. Yes, I don’t agree with people suing for every little thing, and maybe there should be a law that releases liability from the state in the case of an accident. And as for dust visibility on the highways. What about the diesel truck pouring black smoke so thick u can’t see. We live in alaska, not California. If you want this state to be like them, maybe you should move down there and get out of here. Just my opinion as a atv owner that can’t ride anywhere anymore.

  2. Scott Aleckson 25 June, 2014, 10:21

    That is the weakest argument against ATV’s that I’ve ever seen. The “out if control” argument is “drama”. I’ve yet to see an ATV rider who is “out of control” while riding in the ditch. If you are truly concerned about the welfare of ATV riders just because they are on a DOT ROW, then you must apply the same measure to every single person in the ROW, to include everyone in highway vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, etc. Did you know that many areas of Alaska allow riding of ATVs on the roads and amongst the traffic with the same traffic rules as the other vehicles? Those communities get along just fine without an overbearing and Orwellian government restriction on the movement of people.

  3. Sydney Smith 25 June, 2014, 11:09

    Instead of going sue happy, how about having a bill sponsored in the Senate / House that posts signs that state: ATV, horse, Bicyclists ride at your own risk. Which, it seems, most would say they already do.

  4. Sharri 25 June, 2014, 15:26

    I just saw a kid on a dirt bike get hit by a pickup on k- beach road. Kids ride down the ditches and right of way and don’t look when they come to a driveway or street. He was taken away by ambulance.

  5. J 25 June, 2014, 18:53

    Have you ever seen an amateur journalist write into a paper?

    Maybe they had a spark of genius and thought they’d report about it. Doesn’t matter that they haven’t fact-checked or interviewed anybody, but they are so sure their opinion is in fact news worthy?

    Maybe we’ll get lucky and they write it in to a nationally syndicated columnist like Dear Abby like the anti-gay writer wondering how best to get rid of her new gay neighbors. (the horror!)

    This brings up an interesting question. I’m sorry, it’s not actually interesting at all. I meant an uninteresting question.

    Recently, an “author” of an op-ed piece lambasted, in quite an uninformed manner which nobody would take seriously, local ATV riders on the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska.

    They point out that all riders are virtually out of control all the time. They “prove” that people are quite litigious by pointing out the old hot coffee McDonald’s case, apparently still not figuring out, 20 years after the case, that the plaintiff was 79 years old and hospitalized for eight days with third degree burns, and that McDonald’s was asked to lower their temperature on several occasions, and that the plaintiff had tried to settle out of court several times earlier.

    Then they point out that an accident is imminent. It must be with such dangerous riders and conditions! It’s not IF, but WHEN. Of course, the same can’t be said about any other situation, I’m sure. Airplanes, cars, bicycles, roller skates, high heels, plastic knives.

    ATV riders destroy flora and fauna, entirely unlike cutting down millions of trees and habitats for roads, this is entirely unnecessary. They also kick up dust which almost inhibits a little bit of visibility for almost a few feet a little bit almost. Now may be the perfect time to bring up my anti-fog/dust storm/cattle/sneezing-while-driving reform I’ve been drafting, waiting for the perfect time.

    We must also address that when accidents happen on public land that lawsuits surely follow. So let us outlaw climbers of Mt. McKinley, cyclists in Moab, or anybody walking in or near a national park for fear of an injury. Personally, I believe people near the Grand Canyon are going to make the most money off of the government.

    It’s time for editors to weed out op-eds that don’t make any sense. Just…none. If the person writes like they have a moral high-ground, but can be fact-checked by a 3rd grader, then maybe this isn’t the best reporting you can do.

    We should want to find out the actual interests of people against ATV riders. The above positions are arbitrary and flimsy at best. The author isn’t interested in how much the state pays, but how it may affect their taxes. They may not be concerned with visibility so much as being unable to hide how they can’t drive 10 feet with only 100 feet of visibility. Don’t write or ask about things in which you have no interest, but try to reach understanding and common ground.

    Think about it. (No exclamation needed. The point has been made.)

  6. john 26 June, 2014, 12:01

    Hilarious, an editorial not published somewhere else, not written by someone working at another place, an editorial not copied and pasted and then signed by John Davis but apparently an original editorial.

    No, the original editorial printed here goes unsigned, unlike all the ones that were written by someone else and then were plagiarized and signed by John Davis.

    Someone at KSRM actually writes an editorial and none of the comments support the editorial’s presumptions.

    Oh, and if you think the McDonalds case was frivolous? Not many reports tell the actual story. It’s been sensationalized in print, it’s been quoted by wingnuts as reason for tort reform, but few actually know the actual facts of the case.

    Read it here: http://www.lectlaw.com/files/cur78.htm

    It was not a case of a frivolous lawsuit. Far from it.

    I have to say, at least the editorial was original, being unsigned makes me think John Davis did write it. He comes across like an angry old man yelling at kids playing in his yard.

  7. JCF 27 June, 2014, 10:35

    Get off my lawn!!!

    Good point about this case John. They do like to bring it up all of the time – typical of their propganda. It sounds ridiculous on the surface but when you look into the facts you find out it was quite serious.

    As the link you provided mentions, a judge later reduced the amount of the damages awarded to the plantiff in that case, but you still hear Republicans today using the original award amount without mentioning that fact. Tort reform is another way of taking away power from everyday people.

  8. john 27 June, 2014, 17:40

    If a Republican politician tells a Republican voter that tort reform is good for them, they’ll vote for it and then their insurance costs will rise.

    Happens every time,

    ….tort reform is shorthand for screw the customer, (again). No matter how many times it happens to them, Republican voters fall for it every time.

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