Dan’s Online Diary 

# 25.8.05 by Dan

Just the other day a young driver was killed instantly by a 8kg chunk of concrete dropped through the windscreen of his car by a 14-year-old kid from a motorway overbridge.

And then today I read this article that tells of a passenger knocked unconscious by a rock hurled through the window of her bus. The thrower in this case must either not keep up with the news, or be incredibly stupid.

Bus drivers report that they are getting more and more objects thrown at them. I used to commute to work by train and I recall having the odd object thrown at our carriage.

It's a tricky one. I'd guarantee that most of these people would have no idea of the physics involved in their act of stone/rock throwing, or I'm sure they would think twice.

I remember being told off for throwing stones (little ones of the size used in chip-seal road surfacing) at passing trucks on my way home from primary school. I think to some degree, it's in a boy's nature to throw stuff, not maliciously, but just for fun, and largely without thinking. But I've since completed a fair amount of physics education, and realise that it doesn't take great speed or mass for an object to be potentially fatal, or at the very least cause damage to others' property.

But to deliberately carry - with some difficulty, according to a witness - an 8kg chunk of concrete from a construction site onto an overpass with the express purpose of dropping it on a car is not at all within the realms of the unthinking little boy.

What is going wrong here?