Duck boats to avoid intersection where one of their drivers hit and killed woman on scooter, at least in the summer

Boston Duck Tours, Ltd. has agreed to a series of changes in the way it operates its lumbering vehicles in exchange for not having to face criminal charges related to the death of a woman on a scooter last year, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

Among the steps: During the summer, it will keep its amphibious vehicles away from the intersection of Beacon and Charles streets, where Allison Warmuth, 28, died after being hit by one of them. Also, the driver of that vehicle can never get behind the wheel of a Boston Duck Boat again.

Other steps the company agreed to take, at least through 2022: Add a second employee to each tour to deliver the tour spiel drivers used to have to do, install cameras and proximity sensors on vehicles, and barring drivers who rack up two or more moving violations in any calendar year - or in the ten years before they fill out an employment form. Workers will also have to take annual safe driving courses.

The company also agreed to pay $5,000 to the non-profit LivableStreets Alliance.

In considering this resolution, [DA Dan] Conley said, prosecutors considered the relative strengths and weaknesses of evidence admissible at trial, the likelihood of success in light of other motor vehicle homicide prosecutions in Massachusetts, the maximum penalties of a $3,000 fine or house of corrections time available on conviction, the penalties actually imposed by judges in similar cases, and the prospective benefits of the safety and personnel policies the agreement would put in place.

Together, those factors weighed in favor of negotiation. If at any time before 2022 Boston Duck Tours Ltd. intentionally violates any substantive term of the agreement, however, Conley’s office maintains its authority to seek criminal charges.

Ad:

Neighborhoods: 

Free tagging: 

Comments

Surprise

By on

Not even a literal slap on the wrist

up
Voting is closed. 38

Not anymore.

By on

Negligence resulting in a death is manslaughter.

That used to be true.

But nowadays you can be a repeat felon, then take a gun and start firing in a public place, kill a young lady on a walk with her father and get off scot free!

up
Voting is closed. 20

Absolutely can

By on

...if the prosecution fucks up so bad that they can't prove a case.

Which is why the plead deal is happening above.

Because they'd rather strike a deal that benefits the Commonwealth and possibly offers some consolation to the victims family, than fight a case they know won't go anywhere because of the flimsiness of their arguments and the history of precedent.

Pick one.

up
Voting is closed. 7

Double parkng

By on

This is the same reason BTD does not enforce double parking. It's a public safety issue and the City lets it happens and knows somebody is gong to get injured or killed.

up
Voting is closed. 10

I would hope that a MA jury

By on

I would hope that a MA jury and the MA judiciary would not engage in the shameful nullification of the law out of political spite to the detriment to the victim's family as happened in San Francisco. That contortion of justice was grotesque like some verdict out of the Jim Crow era south condoning a lynching.

up
Voting is closed. 13

Suggestion

All the things they agreed to AND criminal charges.

up
Voting is closed. 25

Translation

By on

"We have consistently half-assed motorized murder investigations and prosecutions in the past, so we are going to build on that failure to assume failure".

up
Voting is closed. 26

Stop blaming and do something positive.

By on

It’s Not So amazing that people were so quick to judge and blame without the evidence.

And now after a two year investigation the prosecution drops the case due to lack of evidence of any wrongdoing by the driver, people still want to blame an innocent man...

Shame on all you lynch mob people...

If there is clearly no evidence that This horrible accident...

And... to be sure it was... a horrible “accident”...

No different than any other accident...

but it the facts are the facts...

and in-short... after a two year investigation it’s clear it wasn’t the drivers fault...
It seems, the scooter driver made a terrible decision resulting in her death...

But you can’t prosecute that, so there are no charges...

And no one likes admitting a mistake so there is no apology from the powers that be...

But then we must ask, why are people still complaining...
Was it the media?
Maybe...

But maybe it’s because we all want everyone to do better...
We all want everyone to be safe...
But we are all humans and we all make mistakes...

unless it’s easier to blame someone else for why it happened...

Then we’ll, it’s easier to hang someone... so we can feel better about ourselves and not admit we can do it better...

So if everyone feels it’s not their fault and the problem is solved we move on... and then no one will complain anymore, then no one will seek to find the real solutions... until the next incident...
And it starts all over again...

It’s because there’s a lot wrong going on...
and nobody is looking for solutions, it seems to me, people always look for the scapegoat... you know...
just someone else to blame.

Everyone is to blame...
Everyone can do better...
Everyone should stop escalating things and look for practical solutions instead of wanting to be part of the lynch mob...

How about finding new solutions to Boston’s traffic problems...

How about enforcing existing laws and making new ones because some old ones don’t always work...

“blocking the box” issues, enforce the $150 fine when someone intentionally creates gridlock because they are impatient.

Get more officers on the street and empower them to fine
Bad drivers.
Bad bikers.
Bad pedestrians.

How about making a jaywalking fine in Boston more than $1.
Make them $150 and double for staring at your phone while doing it.

Change the delay on traffic signals... make it safe for everyone!

How about we enforce double parking fines and/or increase them.

How about we do something about Uber and Lift drivers causing traffic disruptions...
Make them pay for Uber/Lyft stands like the cabbies have...
Also... The cabbies have to pay for licensees... why do Uber and Lyft get a free pass to be a problem?

Double parking during the day?
Easy... How about having downtown deliveries after 10pm at night so streets aren’t congested.

How about we don’t do anymore road work during the day... do that at night...
Stop screwing up the traffic when there are easy solutions to all this...

How about we fine cars for running red lights.
But how about we fine Bicyclists too?
If they want street rights, they need to follow street laws...

How about we fine bicyclists for weaving in and out and between cars not following established laws...

How about we take personal responsibility...

How about we do something about this instead of looking to be a lynch mob...

How about that?

up
Voting is closed. 38

Focus

By on

It was an accident, but one in where the driver simply forgot there was a human in front of him. He deserves a fair amount of blame. You can't react to every problem by blaming the cops for not constantly ticketing people, that wouldn't have stopped this, or whatever else the rest of that was.

up
Voting is closed. 24

Dear novel writer

By on

Geesh right a book why don't you?!

up
Voting is closed. 7

Not good enough!

By on

Look closely. These things have 4 mirrors per side, so 8 mirrors on the front of the vehicle. There may also be a backup camera display and a rear-view mirror. The vehicle operator has extremely poor view of their surroundings. Can any human safely look at a minimum of 8 mirrors and the road in front of them at the same time? I say no! Ban the ducks!

up
Voting is closed. 16

You make a convincing argument...

By on

... for banning the Ducks.
I know a former Duckboat operator who quit the job because she thinks they are not safe to drive on city streets.

up
Voting is closed. 14

not only that...

At minimum, they should be required to have cameras and a computer vision system with alerts.

up
Voting is closed. 11

That section of Charles

By on

That section of Charles street should be shut down to traffic. They've done it for events like track and field. Having cars drive between the common and public garden is such a dumb idea.

up
Voting is closed. 30

Oh no! Can't disturb the

By on

Oh no! Can't disturb the precious parking garage entrance! Better continue killing people and causing noise and air pollution in Americas oldest park instead of slightly adjusting the traffic pattern!

up
Voting is closed. 20

It would be relatively easy

By on

It would be relatively easy to maintain the existing garage entrances - just get rid of the street, and build a small, 1-lane road from Boylston St to the garage entrance, and from the garage exit to Beacon St.

That would preserve garage access while freeing up a significant amount of land and allowing pedestrians to walk between parks without having to cross a street.

up
Voting is closed. 12

Turn it into a driveway to

By on

Turn it into a driveway to the garage. No through traffic. One lane leading up to the ramp. Easy.

up
Voting is closed. 13

156 Years and Counting on that part of Charles Street

It still works well.

Cities are built on transportation and the efficient movement of goods and people to areas within the city. You can't get your free trade cheese if the truck can't get to your local expensive food store.

The Common, The Public Garden, Commonwealth Avenue Mall, the Fenway, and the Esplanade are an orgy of great urban spaces. Nearly all of which were planned pre-auto yet adapt so well to the same.

Poorly planned "open spaces" can be disasters, like how the punch drunk on money Land Bank on Nantucket is tearing down buildings to put up benches next to the water when there are already plenty of places to sit by the water. It is the suburbanization of an urban environment to reflect the wishes of people to make the city look like the cookie cutter they grew up in. It is like the people in the Seaport screaming for open space. What the hell is the Harborwalk and the Harbor then, not open space?

Robert Campbell liked to point out that asinine "people's park" in Inman (Inperson?, it is Cambridge after all) Square at the westerly intersection of Hampshire / Beacon and Cambridge. No one could afford in the 70's to replace the building that was on the site that occupied the corner like the building next to the S&S does on the other side. The City put up a few benches instead that no one uses, thus a waste of good urban space.

The same thing with the idea of ripping up Charles Street so we can have 10ks from time to time or the occasional puppet show. It isn't a good idea.

up
Voting is closed. 26

Tearing down doomed buildings

By on

Land Bank on Nantucket is tearing down buildings to put up benches next to the water when there are already plenty of places to sit by the water.

Tearing down buildings headed into the water.

up
Voting is closed. 20

The Intersection Has A Fatal Flaw— Why Hasn't The City Fixed It?

By on

Surely, a major contributing factor in the horrible accident was two lanes of traffic merging into one while turning the corner!

Current configuration below — red arrow points to where accident occurred

IMAGE(https://elmercatdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/c-b-e.jpg)

It is pointless to have two lanes turning into one; it's just another disaster waiting to happen. As I illustrated in the previous story, there is a very simple way to correct this. It's irresponsible for the city to do nothing to make the intersection safer in wake of this tragedy!

Suggested solution below — the two lanes on Charles Street merge into one lane, before reaching the traffic signal.

IMAGE(https://elmercatdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/c-b-e2.jpg)
Notice: the same cars get through the intersection, but they've already merged into one lane where it's safer to do. When making the turn, their full attention is on the road ahead and watching out for pedestrians, instead of jostling with other drivers merging into the single lane on Beacon Street.

This can be done immediately with pavement markings and bollards.

up
Voting is closed. 69

But here’s the thing

By on

Your idea is reasonable and takes into account the various modes that traverse the intersection. Kinopio is an anti-car troll.

up
Voting is closed. 23

Don't lash out at me because

By on

Don't lash out at me because you are on the side that kills thousands per year. The 380 year old common was better before lazy, dangerous drivers started speeding around it.

up
Voting is closed. 18

What can I say

By on

Some of us see ways for pedestrians, cyclists, buses (like tour buses, the subject of this), trains, trucks, and cars can get along and work together. Then there’s you.

You do realize that is was a case of one motorized vehicle striking another, neither of which were going at a high rate of speed? I’m surprised you have a dog in this fight.

You’ve never been in a car? Or a bus?

up
Voting is closed. 18

So, you're saying that

By on

So, you're saying that pediatric surgeons who drive a car to the hospital to perform life-saving operations on critically ill children are killers? You're disgusting and a troll.

up
Voting is closed. 21

Colorful 8 by 10 glossy photos w circles and arrows and writing

By on

On the back of each one explaining what each and every one was, but...It has nothing to do with what happened. The driver pulled up behind the woman and she was under the prow of his (boat) and he couldn't see her. Since he has to act as the tour guide and drive he forgot she was there in stop and go traffic and drove over her. We do appreciate the effort.

up
Voting is closed. 25

He Didn't See Her Because She'd Just Merged Into His Lane

By on

You're suggesting the duck boat driver saw the scooter, pulled up so close he couldn't see it anymore, and then forgot it was there? I don't think so.

As the two lanes of traffic rounded the corner, they merged into one. Witnesses reported the scooter trying to accelerate ahead of the duck boat; and in the outer lane, it would have farther to travel around the curve. But going up the Beacon Street hill, and with a passenger on the scooter, it couldn't get going fast enough. That's not my speculation, that's what was reported to have happened.

The duck boat couldn't see the scooter because it merged under the prow of the duck boat from a blind spot. The accident wouldn't have occurred if the traffic was in a single file going around the corner, because the duck boat would have a chance to see the scooter straight ahead before pulling up behind it.

up
Voting is closed. 22

That article does not say that at all.

By on

I gave you the benefit of the doubt, and read it again. The things you are describing are not in that story at all. Nothing about her changing lanes and speeding in front of the boat, nothing about a lane drop. Just like I gave you the benefit of the doubt about whether or not it does in fact, merge at that point. Its a bad corner but I don't remember a lane reduction there. I know that at the next crossing (that I take all the time), the road is 2 lanes. You just seem to have these, um, enthusiasms. You seem to get an idea in your head and then you spend the rest of the day backing up the story.

up
Voting is closed. 10

Not a factor

By on

First off, the victim, and the boat that hit her were moving westbound, so they weren't in that part of roadway.

Second, the accident occurred when the boat moved forward at the light change and the driver failed to see the scooter directly in front of them due to height and/or distraction, etc. It had nothing to do with the flow of traffic.

Lastly, although it is irrelevant to this accident, there are traffic flow issues at this intersection, and I agree improvements could be made.

However, way more cars turn left from Charles onto Beacon at that intersection (to access Storrow, Comm, and parts West), and I content that dropping to one East lane before the intersection could cause a back up that would affect West bound traffic flow (like a highway off-ramp that backs up into the highway).

Better signage could help traffic flow here also. This is a classic spot for non-familiar drivers to waffle between "should I left, should I right." I've seen many a stall and then last minute decision at this intersection. This leads to reckless and inefficient driving/traffic flow.

up
Voting is closed. 16

Test proposal

By on

Since things in Boston take forever to be corrected, let's show up at 4 am on Monday and put our own cones out for a trial run.

What's the over / under no one moves them through Xmas?

up
Voting is closed. 14

In theory there are two

By on

In theory there are two eastbound travel lanes on Beacon during rush hour, since parking is banned then.

But it's not enforced very well. And it does leave the merge problem at other times.

up
Voting is closed. 8

A person died after being

By on

A person died after being struck by an obnoxiously oversized duck boat whch has no business being on Charles Street along with the other oversized double-deckers. Furthermore, the person who was driving the duck boat was distracted because he was delivering a narration for tourists. No one should die because tour companies can make an extra buck by recklessly operating vehicles not suitable for narrow historical streets.

up
Voting is closed. 30

I hate to bring up facts, but

By on

The police pulled and examined all the video immediately. They studied the video, and within three hours released the Duck Boat driver with no charges or citation filed. Why? It was not his fault. Additionally, the scooter driver was carrying a passenger, which is prohibited on that size scooter. But hey, these are only the facts. Keep believing your opinion.

up
Voting is closed. 16

Speaking of facts

By on

Charges were pending, hence this agreement.

I’m not ready to send the driver to jail, but obviously something happened.

And a general comment to the partisans on both sides, the DA and the victim’s family are okay with this conclusion. If the family is okay with this, why are you griping about this. If the would be defendants are settling, there is some understanding that something bad happened and the company might have had something to do with it.

up
Voting is closed. 19

I don't even know where to

By on

I don't even know where to start with your factually incorrect post. Firstly, you care not at all for people being brutally killed by motor vehicles. That is sick enough. Then you are ignorant of the history of cities and the many current urban neighborhoods that thrive without cars. I'd be happy to name some if you ever want to be educated.

up
Voting is closed. 17

Vox is a science publication now?

By on

Here's a piece of advice that I thought would be obvious but I keep seeing isn't:

Saying "science" is on your side on a matter that is a pure, 100%, unadulterated value judgment based entirely on opinion polls, cosmetics, and personal preferences is worse than saying "God" is on your side.

Do you know why? It's (in my opinion) bad when people stop believing on God after hearing BS like that from holy men, but they generally still behave themselves even if they don't buy into the fire and brimstone thing. But it's (again in my opinion) a lot worse when they stop believing in science after hearing BS like that from self-appointed holy men, because they stop doing things like vaccinating their children or paying taxes for transportation infrastructure or start blockading power plants and gas pipelines that keep this whole civilization thing that we've got here going.

up
Voting is closed. 17

At the very least...

By on

... there needs to be some traffic calming on that part of Charles St. Currently it is a speedway and extremely dangerous for cyclists.

up
Voting is closed. 17

I Don't Understand Why No Permanent Ban

By on

It reminds me of this recent incident:
http://wfla.com/2017/11/15/semi-pushes-car-down-highway-driver-doesnt-kn...

There is no reason for any vehicle that has a significant blind spot in FRONT of the vehicle to be allowed on the road - that includes high hood semis, duck boats, dump trucks, etc. Not when there are plenty of alternative vehicles [of the same type] that can see what they are pointed at.

up
Voting is closed. 20

Same reason we don't mandate padded corners on everything

By on

Safety is always a mutual responsibility and while it is certainly possible to absolve pedestrians of it, it isn't cost-effective to do so when people are perfectly capable of paying attention to their surroundings and not jumping in front of cars and and under turning trucks.

Just like it is perfectly possible to ban sharp kitchen knives and hedge clippers except for licensed professionals, but it isn't cost-effective for everyone to hire a knife operator for their kitchen when people are pefectly capable of not cutting their own fingers off.

up
Voting is closed. 17

One problem

If you cut your own fingers off being inattentive with a knife, you are suffering the consequences of your own behavior.

If one of the operators of an unsafe vehicle mows down people in front because their defective vehicle does not allow them to operate in a safe manner, it is OTHER PEOPLE who suffer the consequences.

Knife users have incentive to not cut their own fingers off. Drivers have little or no incentive not to kill if they are not suffering the consequences. Darwin awards are self-contained.

up
Voting is closed. 28

They do have that incentive

By on

and you'd think cyclists and pedestrians would also have an incentive for not jumping and veering into vehicular traffic without warning, but here you go.

up
Voting is closed. 13

Whataboutism is not an argument

Nobody jumped into traffic here. The duck boat ran down a legally operating vehicle and killed somebody.

Furthermore, drivers drive all over the place, veer into vehicular traffic without warning and kill lots of people - and you forget that drivers have no more right to the roadway than other users. In fact, they should have less right given the volume/person ratio and the pollution emissions.

Nice try with the whataboutism, though. What grade are you in, again?

up
Voting is closed. 13

Really?

You think that stupidity wins discussions?

Lively talker, indeed.

Once again with the failed grasp of human rights, history, and rule of law.

up
Voting is closed. 6

It's Murder Not Suicide Columbo

By on

Nobody jumped in front of anything. A truck turned through an occupied lane of traffic without looking first, or without being able to see if anyone was there. The duckboat ran over another vehicle queued at a red light in front of it without looking first or without being able to see if anyone was there. To use your silly knife analogy, nobody would think it's sane to work in a kitchen where the head chef is blindfolded and wildly flailing around with a butcher knife.

And there are plenty of truck models and tourist buses that don't have poor visibility directly in front of them that are just as cost-effective. In fact, not running over people and other vehicles is generally rather cost-effective.

up
Voting is closed. 28

Wrong

By on

The police did not charge the driver because the cameras showed that the scooter cut in front of the Duck Bost. Get the facts.

up
Voting is closed. 19

Get the facts?

Sure - care to provide some with references or links? I mean, why would they be considering criminal charges against the driver and ban the driver if it was just a silly little oops?

Witness testimony indicated that the scooter was in front and stopped at the light, the duck pulled up, and then ran her down when the light changed. This didn't happen in a vacuum, dear. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/04/30/boston-duck-tours-vehicle-hi...

Please share your links to your alternative formulation? QUACK? Or divulge your relationship with the industry at the very least.

up
Voting is closed. 12

Well, Wrong

By on

It is not during the Summer, it is one day. and Posters, try to write about something you actually have knowledge of.
Or, will that interfere with your uneducated opinions?

up
Voting is closed. 14

???

If you don't think duck boats are a nuisance and a hazard on crowded city streets, perhaps you should spend some time walking/biking/driving downtown.

Hey, I just plowed though an occupied crosswalk while I blathered fake history through a hand held microphone QUACK QUACK!

up
Voting is closed. 7

As someone who was rear ended

By on

As someone who was rear ended by a duck boat, this is a scumbag company that takes two weeks to even contact their insurance company and refuses to apologize. BAN THE DUCKS.

up
Voting is closed. 24

dangerous

My then-toddler children and I were almost killed several years in the crosswalk where they turn to go down in front of the Museum of Science. We were crossing with our walk signal and the duckboat operator decided to take the left without looking. Good thing I was paying attention and was able to yank my kids out of the way in time.

I really should have called the police, but I was too shaken up to even really think of that.

up
Voting is closed. 17