Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The innocent bystander

There was much lamentation on the Today programme this morning from the mother of an eight year old girl, who had been hit by a car and left to crawl, unaided, through moving traffic to the pavement with her leg broken in two places.

Why, came the cry, didn't any of the passing motorists stop to help her?

Well, I can give you a suggestion: it's a sad fact that these days, the innocent bystander who is witness to a tragedy has 3 major reasons not to intervene.

1. Potential risk to his own physical integrity (as already touched upon here, here and here);
2. Risk of legal action; and
3. A particular point to be borne in mind in situations involving children: risk of being branded a paedophile.

In this case, I wonder how many of those passing motorists considered point 3 and decided not to intervene when they saw a seriously wounded 8 year old girl dragging herself across the road.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I suspect none of the above. I suspect that the passing motorists all thought "not my problem - let the police/ambulance sort it out".

In defence of the apparently amoral tossers in cars, all we ever here from the emergency services is "it's not your problem - leave it to the profesisonals".

10:57 pm  

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