RICKTER SCALE: Appropriate punishment for crime needed

The Sookahalla would be a great place to start fattening the government’s coffer

Since we’re all in agreement that speed kills, then the punishment needs to fit the crime considerably more than the pittance handed out now.

When I read recently that the driver of a Lamborghini had been caught screaming along at 200 km/h plus on the Lions Gate Bridge, it turned the colour on the back of my neck from its usual lefty-leaning liberal pink to ruby red with road rage.

The fact that it marked the second time this individual had been stopped for tripling the speed limit for what should be considered attempted murder via motorized mayhem fuelled my ire even further.

The only consequence the driver faces is having his weapon of mass destruction impounded for three days and payment of a fine that amounts to pocket change for anyone who can afford to own that kind of vehicle.

It’s less than a slap on a wrist for someone who should have been hauled away in handcuffed for a suitable period of time to reflect on the harm they may have wreaked on the innocents around them.

If I had our new premier’s ear for a few minutes, I’d use the time to underline the need to ramp up the punishment for attempted murder via motorized mayhem to a minimum six month suspension of driving privileges, topped up with three-month impounding of the vehicle. That would send the kind of message that would deter a significant percentage of people who drive with absolutely no regard for whoever is in their path.

I’d also lobby for the Sooke and West Shore RCMP detachments to team up with the Integrated Road Safety Unit and devote more resources to heightening their presence on our roadways.

The Sookahalla would be a great place to start fattening the government’s coffers with the cash from the culprits who drive like the road is their own personal pleasure device.

I do the commute during rush hour four days a week, yet I’m still astounded by the number of vehicles that blow by me at 120 km/h right where the four lanes narrow to two for the sole purpose of completing the last 10 kilometres into Sooke exactly one car space ahead.

The science has been proven that the lower the speed upon impact, the higher the chance you’ll walk away. A reduction of 10 km/h can be the difference between broken bones and a body bag. The way the laws are now, too many of us suffer as the needless victims burdened by the horror stories of lives crushed and families torn apart. A multitude of them by people who weren’t impaired by anything other than the stupidity of their need for speed.


Rick Stiebel is a Sooke resident.

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