back to article Texting teenager plunges to his death

An Australian teenager has died after he fell from a multi-storey car park while typing a text message. 19-year-old Ryan Robbins escorted a couple of women to their car late last Friday, in Melbourne. After they parted ways, Ryan began texting a friend, while walking. He did not notice the railing - about waist-high - and …

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Silver badge

Railing heights

It was once pointed out to me that railings overseas were often shorter than here in the UK... I was told this by a friend who saw the world through the 'lens' of skateboarding and skateboarding videos, since US skate videos had much more footage of 'grinding' and 'boardsliding' - where the skateboarder launches himself down a set of railings- on account of the shorter US railing being more suitable for such stunts.

On another note, it does seem strange that Aussie building regs call for short railings, when safety in the Australian workplace is taken very seriously indeed.

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Anonymous Coward

humm

If this had not happened when it did, perhaps he would have moved on to texting while driving where his actions could have injured other people aswell.

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Anonymous Coward

re: could have injured other people

Landing on someone from that height won't do them a lot of good.

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WTF?

1 down, millions to go: building owners shouldn't have to pay tp protect idiots

Building owners have enough responsibilities without having to extend walls designed to prevent cars from popping over the edge to be tall enough to prevent people stupid enough not to pay attention as to where they are going.

I have just measured the balcony wall off my bedroom and it is 110 centimetres tall and sufficiently high to hold me back even when leaning over to check whose ringing the front door bell.

Death by dumbness should be the coroners decision.

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Silver badge

Ok try this

go into a multi story car park with 1m high barriers and get attacked by a bunch of 1.50m high and high teens.

I'm 1.96 tall and 120kg and its fucking scary knowing the little bastards can tip you over with no effort.

I'd like to spend 10 mins up there with the building owners and even the most relaxed health and safety exec.

Only fit for persons of restricted growth.

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@ Tom

Yoda says: your superior weight to crush them by falling forwards, use it you can!

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Thumb Up

Handy hint

You're 1.96m tall and 120kg, you are confronted by a herd of 1.5m tall and high teenagers. I suggest you pick one up and dangle it over the edge, that should calm the others down. If it doesn't simply drop the first one and move on to the next.

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Unhappy

People need to be responsible for themselves

It's getting to the point where over-legislation, ambulance chasing lawyers and PC is breeding common sense out of the human race.

This to me is an accident. It could have been prevented by a number of things-

Changes to the building so it has higher railings or a solid wall so there are no railings

or

Changes to behaviour, Standing still while texting and watching where you are going.

as in the title people need to be responsible for themselves and not make other people do it for them.

I know that if i stab myself with a bread knife it's going to, at the least, hurt possibly even kill me. I don't need it engraving down the side of the blade to tell me this.

I also know that if i run down the stairs then i am significantly increasing the risk of falling down them. Again i don;t need full instructions on stair useage do and don'ts from a specially trained stair hostess before i sign the waiver to be allowed to use them. OK so i'm exgaggerating, but if we legislate for every single incident because some wasn't paying attention or not taking care of themselves this is how it would end up.

I'm truly sory this young man died and 1m is perhaps to short but the question should be why did he not see the barrier before he fell and could it have been prevented if he wasn;t concentrating on the text message?

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No one elses responsibility

If this person was not looking where he was going then it is his own fault for his demise. Personal responsibility for ones own safety is just that, perosnal responsibility. It is up to the individual to watxh out for his/her own safety not for every one else to do it for them.

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Anonymous Coward

It seems people can't read.

Read the article carefully. It states that the railing was "about waist-high" and then later says Australian building regs require a height of at least 1 metre.

It does not say that the railing in the car park was 1 metre high. "About waist high" is more than a metre on the average person so the building owners have already gone above and beyond the building regs in terms of safety

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WTF?

New story title

"Idiot teen texting instead of looking where he's going walks over edge of car park, dies."

I learned this lesson years ago. When changing a track on my CD player, I tripped up a kerb and fell onto a nice, fresh doggy treat. The smell was much less noticeable once I'd vomited over myself. Now, the phone stays in the pocket and the earbuds come out when I cross the road.

If he'd walked out onto a busy road and been hit by a car, would we blame the driver? The local council for lack of safety measures? The government for not mandating such safety measures? The phone manufacturer?

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FAIL

statistics anybody ?

So lets try this.

How many people use annually any other than ground level parking floor ?

How many people die annually from tripping / pushed over the barrier ?

does this require sorting out ? In other words is this a mayor problem or are there maybe more cost effective ways to save more lives ? If saving lives is your goal of course. For example providing clear drinking water to say a third world country ?

If I ever see someone getting run over by a car while crossing the road and texting I am pretty sure that I will testify in favor of the car driver.

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Would it have cost THAT much more to install a higher railing?

Yeah, yeah, the owners probably wanted to spend only the minimum necessary to meet safety code, but, as has been pointed out many times above, 1 meter (~39 inches and change) seems a bit low for keeping people from falling (or being pushed) out of a structure and onto the street below. Did anyone involved in the construction actually stand next to a 1m piece of railing and say "Yep, I'd feel safe if this were the only thing between me and a multi- storey plunge"? Methinks many rules and regulations should be revisited to see if they are still adequate (too strong given current technology, not strong enough, what-have-you).

Poor kid ... should have known better, but it's still a loss to his friends and family.

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L.B
FAIL

And what next...

Should every pavement have a 2 meter high barrier to stop retards walk into the road, should every pedestrian crossing have gates like railways to physically stop them wandering into traffic, should every cliff around every country be fitted with jump proof fences.

It only takes a second to look at you surroundings and make a judgement about walk with you eyes effective shut.

If this idiot had fallen down a flight of stairs and broken his neck would you be calling for the abolition of stairs.

Re others:

As for all the other pathetic excuses about being throw over the edge; try growing a backbone. You know that dark area that follows you everywhere is just your shadow, not to bogeyman.

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Midget barrier

This was an unfortunate accident, partly caused by human stupidity... but 1m barriers are stupidly low. This seems to stray into the McDonalds hot coffe suit, mostly because the suing party actually was right: serving 3rd-degree burning coffe is stupid.

I'm 1.75m and I've seen roofs with stupid 1m barriers, and even a couple of pedestrian overpasses with 1m railings. Needless to say, crossing on those is a terrifying experience given the fact that quakes are common over here. I'd be scared shitless by any railing below 1.40!

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T J
FAIL

Gen YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.........!

So its true - Gen Y really ARE a generation of total and absolute MORONS. Gen Z better do better or we're all doomed, we in Gen X have already run for the hills!

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Midget barrier

This was an unfortunate accident, partly caused by human stupidity... but 1m barriers are stupidly low. This seems to stray into the McDonalds hot coffe suit, mostly because the suing party actually was right: serving 3rd-degree burning coffe is stupid.

I'm 1.75m and I've seen roofs with stupid 1m barriers, and even a couple of pedestrian overpasses with 1m railings. Needless to say, crossing on those is a terrifying experience given the fact that quakes are common over here. I'd be scared shitless by any railing below 1.40m!

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Unhappy

I agree ...

.. that this was a tragic accident, and what other posters havepointed out. The barrier was too low AND people should take more care while texting and walking.

The teenagger seemed like a reasonalby decent person, he didn't deserve to die like that.

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Stop

On the saftey issue.

It surely would not cost the earth or torch the constitution if we said minimum height for such barriers (where such barriers are mandated by law anyway) should be a tad higher than 1 meter? Without speculating about the causes of this particular incident it IS possible to be distracted under dangerous circumstances without it meaning that you are a total dickhead. One can in fact imagine any number of legitimate and understandable scenarios that do not include "driving an iPhone without due care and attention" or similar sins against the Great Deity of common sense who none of us here posting at Reg ever sin against. Do we? No of course we don't. Not once, ever.

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Coat

Darwin Award Candidate !!

sorry for the families loss, but the guy died because he didn't look where he was going. It's his fault, no-one else's. I appreciate the family trying to blame someone or something else.

I often text while i'm walking, but I've never manage to fall off a building, walk into a wall or person or anything else. This is because I have two sensors in my head (called 'eyes') which can detect differences in illumination as well as objects & people, and the distance of said objects and people. I then use my own very powerful biological personal computer (I call this my 'brain') to take evasive action when on a collision course. However, i am not unique in this technique. Almost every animal with intelligence (by which I mean having an IQ higher than that of a shoe) uses exactly the same method, and has done for literally thousands of years. It's a tried and tested method.

Lifeforms with zero or very low intelligence avoid many collisions by not moving much. For example, very few turnips fall off tall buildings because they didn't look where they were going by staying in one position on the ground for the whole of their life, even then they only move by an external force over which they have no control.

Any lifeform with an IQ higher than (for example) a turnip, but lower than idiot may find life more complicated with regards (for example) to buildings and the not falling off them .

Mine's the one I'm weraring whilst I'm checking the GPS for,... hang on, incoming txt

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couple of facts

The building regs here are that if there is more than a 1m drop off the edge of a deck etc, you need a barrier 1m high

That's fine for a verandah, but when it's 8 stories in the air (like this was), then a 1m barrier is too low. Some carparks have wire mesh above the concrete car-barriers to prevent this sort of accident (which is what it was) - but not many.

The ridiculous part is the barriers around any sort of pool have to be 1.2m high, but a safety barrier to stop a 100m drop is only 1m...

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Anonymous Coward

What about...

Rather than railings, perhaps what should be installed are full padded walls equipped with sirens and high powered lights in case someone gets too close. Really, this is a tragic incident that undoubtedly cannot be attributed to negligent behavior on the victim's part. I mean, why should we be expected to pay attention to some meter high railing? What the hell does it mean anyway? This is clearly a design issue which should be remedied immediately. Texting is a far more important task than paying attention to what's going on around us. That's their job, and, obviously judging by this incident, they aren't doing it well enough. I've heard of people being hit by automobiles while they were texting, people in automobiles hitting things while they were texting, a woman walking into a fountain and drowning while texting. I am astonished the lack of sympathy that texters get! I mean, how can we be expected to pay attention to everything else while we are texting? What about some responsibility? Huh? I mean, a one meter high railing is not going to prevent a person too busy for arbitrary tasks, such as watching out for the edge of a buildings, from heading straight into danger! Where's the responsibility of the oncoming traffic, huh? Where's the responsibility of building designers to prevent people from accidentally falling off? That's what I'd like to know.

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Pint

But for the grace of $deity go I

I'm clumsy. I fully expect to die in some moronic fashion. For example, I've nearly stepped off a mountain trying to get some people in the frame of a picture. I guess I don't have a point here except that I can empathise with the poor bastard. And 1m does seem a bit low.

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Lower the barrier.

We shouldn't have to argue over how high it is. It's not the building or the building owners fault or problem. It's gravity's fault. We should sue gravity. Or maybe the ground?

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Anonymous Coward

re: We should sue gravity

It's not the fall that kills you ...

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Anonymous Coward

One of the First rules in life..

Surely one on the First rules in life is.. "Watch where the F@#k you are going numbnuts!"

That is all!

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Stop

reminds me....

... of when I was teaching daughter #2 to drive and we went into a shopping centre multi story car park, she drove all the way to the roof looking for a big space, drove into it a tad too fast and bounced the car off the crash barrier (stopping us plunging 3 stories to the car park below) which was followed by a stunned silence in the car...

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FAIL

Nolo comprende

So, are you saying that your daughter was texting whilst having a driving lesson, or that this guy was travelling too fast?

I've walked into barriers lower than waist height before whilst distracted and not fallen over them. The guy was a numbnuts.

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Coat

Did anyone check...

What was the message he was sending?

Perhaps it was a suicide note!?

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Silver badge

title needed

They are really there to keep stupid people from driving off the edge. I mean would you realty expect some to just walk off the edge like lemming ?? Hey a new game car park lemmings.

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Know the building

and there's not a lot of air-gap over the railings. Guy must have sort of taken a dive to get out, IMO.

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