Is this justice? Motorist gets jail time

The canadian press reported that the motorist who slammed through 5 cyclists in the ottawa area is getting 2 years jail time.  Billy Bean from Take the Lane has a good post and a great link to a piece from the Ottawa Citizen discussing slow recovery of the cyclists (makes me mad and breaks my heart at the same time).

2 years and these 5 cyclists are going to have to fight for the rest of their lives to get their pre-collision lives back.

As a cyclist is this justice?

via cbc

7 thoughts on “Is this justice? Motorist gets jail time

  1. I suppose another question that could be asked is…’Is anyone surprised?’
    This type of sentencing has become all too common.

    Days before Christmas a man walking his dog was hit by a stolen vehicle here in St. Catharines.
    The driver fled the scene, however a few days later turned himself in. I don’t recall the exact charge, but it was something minor like failing to remain at the scene. Well the pedestrian just died because of his injuries, and people are questioning why the charges aren’t being elevated.

    1. “I don’t recall the exact charge, but it was something minor like failing to remain at the scene.”

      Section 252 of the Criminal Code deals with the failure to stop at the scene of the accident. This is far from a minor charge, with a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail if a person has been injured or killed in the accident. For comparison, 10 years is the minimum sentence for second-degree murder.

      It sounds to me as though it would make sense in the above situation to include charges other charges depending on the circumstances.

  2. Two years of jail time is nothing to sneeze at. Graham, what do you think would represent a fair sentence, and what would be the benefit of a harsher sentence in your opinion?

    It seems that the driver fell asleep at the wheel. That people feel justified driving while that tired is the problem. Something needs to be done to change our motoring culture, as too many people take the responsibility of driving too lightly. However, I’m not convinced that harsher sentences are the best way to do this.

  3. Jail isn’t really an effective deterrent to crime. Punishment and justice aren’t really the same thing and the prison system is pretty good at psychologically damaging people’s lives so I don’t see how any more good comes from making the sentence longer.

    I think a lifetime driving and automobile ownership ban should be mandatory in cases like this. Have a probation officer come by and all that jazz…. Do gun owners get to keep their guns if they have accidental discharges that cause harm?

  4. Good comments. My first reaction to the story and watching the various videos of the victim’s statements was anger and how a two year sentence did nothing to make good the wrong. Particularly when she voiced frustration over the lack of remorse from the driver.

    But as pointed out two years / twenty years in jail isn’t going to change the injuries or help the injured back to their pre-collision days.

    I like Clasher’s idea of a lifetime ban from driving.

  5. The biggest difference between a two year sentence and a twenty-year one is the individual won’t be on the road for an extra 18 years.

    When local police set-up blitzes, they constantly find drivers who have been either suspended or banned from driving for set periods.

    The old “New VR” in Barrie followed a guy to court, where he was banned from driving for 6-months…Right in the court house parking lot (after being banned) he got in his truck and drove off. They questioned neighbours a couple of weeks later and said he was still driving daily.

    Jail might not work, but driving bans don’t work either.

  6. Ryan your point on suspended licenses is bang on. Why doesn’t this piss more people off? There was a cyclist killed a few years ago in Waterloo in a bicycle lane by a motorist who had had his license suspended and had fraudulently obtained another license and he was still charged with just careless.

    It’s back to that old adage that falsely supposes driving is a human right. A better way is needed to enforce driving bans. A stiff driving ban for this ottawa driver would be better justice (if it could be enforced).

    Enforcement ideas:
    – nfc could be embedded into cars, requiring the suspended license holder to wear an ankle collar or embedded chip in their ankle that if they’re driving it disables the car. (leads to other nanny state problems).
    – Lifetime license bans for suspended license violators .. then what do you do if a person drives without a license .. criminal code it?
    – Severe jail time for violating suspended licensing bans (as discussed above jail time really doesn’t benefit anyone.
    – facial recognition in order to start a vehicle … similar to the new google galaxy phone lock …

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