Saturday, October 1, 2011

Car goes over cliff, undetected

A car goes over the edge of a cliff on a narrow mountain road. The driver survives, but the accident goes undetected for six days. After five days, the family files a missing persons report. Law enforcement tells them that follow up will take days. The family doesn’t wait. They locate the car using their own means with the help of a detective and the phone company, including what appears to be one of the controversial warrantless cell phone locates that law enforcement does millions of times per year.

When the family located their father at the bottom of a ravine, they also found a second car had gone over the edge. That accident was unrelated and also undetected. That driver died.

Number of cars over the edge: Two. Number of cars detected and located by law enforcement/rescue workers: Zero.

No doubt that there will be a call for guard rails. I don’t think it’s practical to put rails on every spot on every road, but I do think that one could devise an inexpensive tell-tale. This could be as simple as a breakable ribbon or a row of hay bales on the outside of the curve. If the ribbon is broke or the hail bales are gone, something happened.

If preventative controls aren’t practical, is there a detective control in place?