> "Personally, I'd say the solution is to change the laws to make drivers explicitly responsible for pedestrian fatalities they cause, with colossal penalties. That'll cause responsible drivers to PAY ATTENTION DAMMIT and eliminate the irresponsible ones."
You're kidding right? That's pretty much the way it is now in many countries - I can't see how the USA is that much different. A pedestrian can walk out from anywhere, anytime, and the driver has to stop or avoid, even if it means hitting something solid like a light pole and injuring themselves. Any failure is the driver's fault. A pedestrian could deliberately throw themselves onto the bonnet of your car and, as it stands, the burden of proof is on the driver to show how the 'accident' could not be avoided. No witnesses to confirm what the crazy/suicidal pedestrian did? Too bad, you're off to jail, son.
This legal situation results in some pedestrians doing whatever they like whenever they like ON THE ROADS, such as cross without looking and hold up a hand as if that will instantly stop all traffic, or walking down the middle on the white line - and that's from sober people in the middle of the day!
We do not need to make the driving laws or vehicle compliance laws ANY harder. What would be good - and something I argue for frequently - is tougher licensing standards and much better driver education, such as mandatory professional training (as opposed to being taught by Uncle Billy-Bob) and mandatory skid pan sessions. And I'd love to see a few more laws to stop pedestrians from being so bloody stupid on the roads.