Tuesday, April 06, 2004

This suicide could've turned into justifiable homicide, it seems

So there was a jumper on the Bay Bridge last week that snarled traffic for over 12 - (TWELVE) hours getting into SF.

Thousands of motorists vs. one distraught man. Who wins? Morally? Practically? Lots of drivers were shouting "jump," apparently. Easy enough to understand, but telling, isn't it?

Here's an excerpt from the article - the invention idea saves the initial sentiment from becoming really inhumane:

It is unfair to make 200,000 or more people sit in their cars because one person wants them to feel his pain, said Bill Wattenberg, an engineer, inventor and radio talk-show host, echoing the opinion of thousands of Bay Area motorists.

"There needs to be a time limit for how long you allow this to go on," said Wattenberg, who recently invented a device that the CHP now uses to stop runaway trucks. "You need to pick a few hours and say, 'that's it.' "

Wattenberg said scientists and engineers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he once worked, could easily develop a contraption that would ensnare a potential jumper.

"I'm convinced that if we got some scientists and engineers together, we could build a rapid deployment device that would trap these people and prevent them from jumping," said Wattenberg, who has often made his seemingly fantastical visions a reality. "Imagine a spiderweb suddenly enclosing around you. I believe that could be done."

Helmick said he is so intrigued by Wattenberg's suggestion that he will recommend approaching laboratory scientists with that suggestion, among other things, in his report to McPeak


Guy was from Sacramento, too. Go fig. Hey, go big or go home, I guess. And the bridges out here are significantly less impressive.

One man and several thousand cars. Inconvenience vs. life.

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