What Security Measures could have been taken to prevent the Death of Kevin Ward Jr.?
The death of Kevin Ward Jr. last weekend remains a troubling topic for competitive racing. According to multiple reports, an investigation to determine any criminal intent on the part of Tony Stewart is underway, but could take several months to finish.
The evidence against him is seemingly slim, although a second video that is being used in the investigation has yet to be released to the public. Stewart has already dropped out of an upcoming race in Plymouth, Ind., and has issued a heartfelt statement about the loss of his fellow driver.
When looking at the video tape that did in fact make its way public, one has to wonder whether or not some security measures could have been taken in order to prevent this death.
Racing is a fast-paced, high-octane sport that instills a level of adrenaline in its competitors that few other sports can match. It is that same adrenaline-fueled competitive spirit that caused Ward to step out of his car to address Stewart. Racing analysts have defended this action, saying it is common in the racing world.
What happened next of course was not.
When looking at the tape, it seems pretty clear to me that the track itself was destined for disaster sooner-or-later. The track was dimly lit, with almost no visibility on the far side which was the side the accident happened on. I have seen multiple reports admitting this much, and even acknowledging that high school fields are oftentimes better lit than this race track.
You have to wonder if this could have been prevented with better-quality lights around the track, and also question whether cameras should be installed. Security cameras would go a long way in seeing the path Stewart took before crashing into Ward, certainly much better than a few amateur cellphone videos.
The track itself was not sanctioned by NASCAR, and although the race wasn’t a NASCAR race you have to call in to question the duties of the racing committee as a governing body. If these racers are working their way towards NASCAR fame, should the league take on the responsibility of monitoring these tracks? I believe that they should
If NASCAR can move to improve these tracks with better lighting and a host of other security measures, we might not be talking about this tragic accident.
Posted by Matt Holden on Aug 13, 2014