Log in Subscribe

A few of our stories and columns are now in front of the paywall. We at The Chief-Leader remain committed to independent reporting on labor and civil service. It's been our mission since 1897. You can have a hand in ensuring that our reporting remains relevant in the decades to come. Consider supporting The Chief, which you can do for as little as $3.20 a month.

No one to witness and adjust


To the editor:

I remember watching a debate during the 2016 presidential campaign between the Green Party's Jill Stein and the Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson. The dim-witted Johnson said "We'll have trucks that drive themselves." I thought "What could possibly go wrong?" So I was not surprised to read "No one is driving this taxi. What possibly could go wrong?" (The Chief, May 19).

But there are worse things than reporter Michael Liedtke's experience with a confused computer cab driving almost to his destination and then driving blocks away. A number of years ago, I read about a man in a self-driving car who was killed in an accident. When I Googled the accident, it turns out that there's been a number of such incidents. At least one pedestrian has been killed by such a vehicle.

We know computers have glitches, so what makes anyone think they would make perfect drivers? As for trucks, the idea of vehicles that are that big having no humans controlling them is enough to scare any intelligent person. I suspect that WWE Hall of Famer Teddy Long would prefer to again be chauffeured by the Undertaker before taking a self-driving cab.

The same Chief issue reported on a "3-month prison term for owner of construction firm." The New Jersey owner of OneKey, Finbar O'Neill, was warned that a temporary concrete block retaining wall was dangerous. He indicated that he did not care. The wall collapsed. One worker was killed and another injured.

One would think that this is criminally negligent homicide. But the U.S. magistrate judge hearing the case, Paul E. Davison, considered three months in prison and one year of supervised release a strong enough sentence. I won't hold my breath waiting for a Republican to denounce Davison as a bleeding heart liberal.

Richard Warren


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here