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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/08/28/congressman.accident/index.html

Nader calls on congressman to resign after fatal wreck
Crash under investigation

Thursday, August 28, 2003 Posted: 2:30 PM EDT (1830 GMT)


Rep. William Janklow, a Republican, is a former governor of South Dakota.


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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Ralph Nader and other consumer advocates called on South Dakota congressman William Janklow to resign Thursday after Janklow was involved in a fatal wreck near his hometown earlier this month.

"There is no need to wait for prosecutors or civil suits by the next-of-kin to haul you into South Dakota's courts," Nader wrote in a letter to Janklow, a first-term House Republican and former governor. "You should resign your congressional seat immediately in atonement for what was only going to be a matter of time -- the taking of life by a driver relentlessly bent on turning his vehicle into a lawless, dangerous missile."

Nader wrote that Janklow had been cited several times previously for "excessive speeding and reckless driving," and said that "for years you have spoken, some would say even boasted, about your penchant for driving very fast on public highways."

Janklow, 63, was elected to South Dakota's sole seat in the House of Representatives in 2002 after serving four terms as governor. His office did not immediately respond to Nader's call for his resignation.

Janklow was at the wheel in an August 16 collision with a motorcyclist near the congressman's hometown of Flandreau, South Dakota, the state Highway Patrol said. The motorcyclist -- Randolph E. Scott, 55, of Hardwick, Minnesota -- was pronounced dead at the scene.

No charges have been filed against Janklow in the accident. But an accident report, according to the Associated Press, says that Jankow was driving 20 mph hours over the speed limit.

Nader, the Green Party candidate for president in 2000, said Janklow should face second-degree manslaugher charges.

The letter was co-signed by two of Nader's allies: Joan Claybrook, president of the Nader-founded consumer advocacy group Public Citizen; and Clarence Ditlow, executive director of the Nader-affilliated Center for Auto Safety.

Nader wrote that Janklow has acknowledged earlier speeding tickets publicly, and he urged the congressman to give up his driver's license as well as his office.

Nader was author of the 1965 book "Unsafe at Any Speed," accusing General Motors of ignoring safety in its design of automobiles. It led to laws forcing automakers to make safety-based design changes.
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I have to agree with Nader on this... you can't hold a high government office and show empathy toward basic laws.
 

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I personally think that speed has little to do with fatal accidents. However, I feel that the standards for driving in the states is far too low. I passed my driving test when I was 16 years old and had about an hour and a half driving experience in my entire life, and on top of that, I did it in a standard. When I look back on it, I realize what a poor driver I was, yet I still passed with zero points off. It kinda scared me at how such an unskilled driver can pass the driving test here. I think it would be nice if there were different class liscenses, lower classes were restricted to 65mph speed limits, and higher class were allowed 85mph speed limits and other things. Kinda like the autobahn... but I know that's never going to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I agree.. statistics show that more speed does not equate to fatalities. This is partially because of increased vehicle safety (something I feel Nader is single handedly responsible for bringing into the public's eye), as well as safer highway designs. The fact still remains, braking distances are exponentialy related to speed... and I'm willing to bet most drivers don't realize that to be the case.

The American oppinion is that it's our God given right to operate a motor vehicle... if this were Germany than only half of us would probably have a license. First we'd need to cough up several thousand dollars for training costs.. and then be willing to take several hundred hours of instruction just to get our licenses. Imagine if having your drivers license actually meant something :D

You can drive at 160mph on parts of the autobahn because the roads are super smooth (pavement on the Autobahn, is twice as thick as US pavement) and the drivers are trained to keep in the right lane (Recht Fahren - Drive Right) , except to pass*, and they're also trained to look out for cars coming up behind them at a 100mph closing speed. Drive at 160mph on the interstates in the US and you're likely to end up splattered against the rear of some old lady's Buick.

*(with no speed limit to inhibit them, they can feel free to put the pedal down when they decide to pass somone, so there's no dilly-dallying at 7mph over the speed limit to pass someone doing 5mph over the speedlimit like here in the US :roll: )
 

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Ted Kennedy killed a person while drunk driving. Is Nader also calling for him to resign? I didn't think so.

No double standards here. I don't think that Rep Janklow should resign over this. The voters will get their chance to decide soon enough.
 
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