A young girl is in the hospital, not expected to survive. Her cousin has leg and head injuries, and her mother is also injured.
I don’t fundamentally disagree with his point that we’ve shielded civil engineers from our liability- and litigation-happy traditions, and that that exclusion needlessly costs thousands of lives a year. But I don’t know how to get from our current model, which incentivizes Following The Book above all else, to a model that favors actually designing streets to be safe, and I don’t know that anybody else does, either. I agree that a feature of a new model is going to be the ability to sue engineers (and/or DOTs) for the fatal consequences of roads that are unsafe as designed, but I don’t know what the intermediate state between here and there is. We’ve been following our old (broken) model for decades now. Basically every civil engineer practicing today who has ever touched a streetscape diagram (i.e. most of them) is culpable. What do we do about that? Do we fire them all? Strip them all of their licenses? I… am not there yet. The profession has a problem, yes. (Well, many problems.) But burning everything down doesn’t actually get us anywhere.
We need a way to absolve Civil Engineering of its massive backlog of past sins if we’re ever going to get it to stop committing more.
I don’t know what that looks like. Mandatory retraining? A Truth and Reconciliation Commission taking public confessions? Maybe. Those suggestions sound absurd, but it can’t be worse than the daily massacre we have now.