Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Worse Than Driving Drunk

What could be worse than driving drunk? Well, driving blind for one thing. I'm perfectly safe on the roads, says blind driver Uh, I don't think so!
A police officer described yesterday how he pulled over a motorist who was veering across the road and found that he had no eyes. Omed Aziz, who lost both his eyes in a bomb blast and is also deaf, was caught behind the wheel with a friend sitting in the passenger seat giving him instructions on when to steer and brake, and how quickly to drive.
An obvious case of the stupid leading the blind.
He and a colleague had already seen him successfully negotiate two roundabouts and a corner.
Well, roundabouts are pretty interesting, but they aren't all that difficult, unless you're use to driving in the OPPOSITE direction.
Pc Austin said that when he pulled over the car, Aziz, who wore dark glasses, was fumbling with the controls. When asked if he noticed anything about Aziz he replied: "I did -— he didn't have any eyes." He said: "I attempted to speak to the driver. At that point the passenger leaned across and said 'He's blind'."
I'm sure the officer was able to keep his British cool, but I wondering what was running through his mind.
Timothy Gascoyne, defending, said Aziz, who did not give evidence, should be cleared because "the question is not whether his driving was dangerous, but whether being blind makes it dangerous". He said: "If my client hadn't been blind he wouldn't have been arrested for dangerous driving, so it doesn't fall far below what is expected from a careful and competent driver."
Whether being blind makes driving dangerous? He's gotta be kidding!
Peter Love, prosecuting, told the court: "A blind man controlling a vehicle is inherently dangerous. A careful and competent driver would not dream of driving in this manner."
Well, there's a great big DUH!