Of course accidents can happen, but it can be prevented if careless motorists PAY ATTENTION TO THE ROAD and their surroundings!!! I can give so many examples of idiots who drive so stupid. On many occasions I too almost got hit by a car crossing the street with my dogs. It’s because drivers are in their own little world, don’t care and are in a hurry. And it’s laws like this that won’t make things change. God forbid I get hit by one of these crappy drivers and I am able to react by causing damage to their car, I’ll get charged. Not the driver who almost ran me over.
A couple of years ago I got a stupid ticket, I didn’t make a complete stop at a stop sign, otherwise known as California Roll, I was also jet lagged traveling back from Israel and I didn’t notice police were right behind me around the corner. What did they do? Well, because they were bored they gave me a ticket for Failing to Stop at Stop Sign. It was a tiny stop and I made sure no one was crossing the street. Anyway my point is, they like to nail you for minor violations but when it comes to running over someone…HERE’S A $500 ticket, have a nice day, we’ll bury the dead body!
What’s even more distrubing about this is that the people in the article below were not drunk, they had no excuse to run over someone and kill them, but if you were drunk and drunk as we know you can make sound judgement, in other words you’re not yourself, you would of got charged and perhaps have gone to jail for a couple weeks.
Here’s an example of lack of judgement and not being one self when drunk…when I used to drink years ago and back when I was a party animal, I had promiscuous sex. When I was sober, I wouldn’t think twice about doing it. What does that day about intoxication?
The driver was not under the influence, there’s no excuse to kill someone when driving other than that you’re not paying attention to the road and your surroundings. GO TO JAIL!
For $500, you can buy a pretty nice 32-inch flat screen television.
It’s also the price you’ll pay for killing a pedestrian in Ontario if you’re charged with failing to yield under the Highway Traffic Act.
You won’t go to jail. You won’t even lose your driving licence.
“It blows my mind,” said Corry Kuipers, whose sister Tina, 65, was killed on April 13, 2010 when she was run over by a truck as she tried to cross Queen St. in Brampton. The driver of the truck pleaded guilty to failing to yield and was fined just $500.
“A person can get charged with drinking and driving and lose their licence on the spot . . . My brothers and I were shocked when we found out what the penalty was going to be for killing Tina.
“I’m sure everybody would be just as shocked as we were. Surely, somebody who takes another person’s life has to at least lose their driving privileges for a little while. The government needs to change the laws.”
Daryl Bowles of Hamilton has tried to do just that. The person who killed his father, Donald, received a four-month jail sentence for careless driving. Following his father’s death in November 2008, Bowles created a website, familiesfightingcarelessdriving.com. More than 2,000 people have signed a petition on the site calling for mandatory jail sentences, loss of driving privileges and higher fines for people convicted of careless driving where deaths occur.
For the low end of the offence — where inattentiveness or a momentary lapse in judgment leads to the lesser offence of fail to yield — the group wants a jail sentence of up to six months, a five-year mandatory licence suspension and a $5,000 fine.
“I’m not saying somebody who turns away for a quick moment should be treated the same way as somebody who drives maliciously and recklessly,” Bowles said. “But they still must be held responsible for the way they drive.”
In Kuipers’ death, Obarasiagbon Umanmwen, 39, of Brampton was fined $500 last Thursday after his paralegal, Mark Reynolds, entered a plea of failing to yield on his behalf. The truck driver didn’t have to appear in court. Reynolds told the court his client will forever be troubled by his actions and would also pay a $500 charitable donation.
The following day, Alsea Wilson, 32, of Toronto, was also fined $500 after she pleaded to failing to yield to a pedestrian. Her BMW struck Diana Rowdon, 88, of Mississauga on Oct. 2, 2010. Rowdon died in hospital from a brain injury the next day.
In both deadly traffic mishaps, the drivers were looking left — making sure there was no oncoming traffic — when they turned right and tragically ended the lives of two complete strangers.
Rowdon was a widow with no children but longtime friend Diana Khoury forgave Wilson for what happen and thought her penalty was enough.
“It was an accident,” she said outside court last Friday. “I have a daughter 32. It can happen to anybody.”
Wilson’s lawyer Sonia Campbell told the court this was one of those tragic cases where “sometimes accidents just happen” and “this was one of them with the worst consequence” which her client must live with for the rest of her life.
Campbell said Wilson understands the $500 fine in no way was meant to equal the loss of Rowdon’s life. “Very little can be done to compensate for the loss,” Campbell said.
Had Wilson and Umanmwen been drinking or speeding or darting in an out of traffic before striking their victims, they would have been charged criminally, likely with dangerous driving causing death or criminal negligence causing death. If convicted, they would have likely spent some time behind bars and lost their driving privileges for many months and possibly years.
But by all accounts, Wilson and Umanmwen are decent, hard-working people. Neither booze nor speed contributed to what they did. Both immediately stopped their vehicles, got out and phoned 911.
Crash investigators such as Peel Cst. Ken Wright understand the frustration of the victim’s families, who have difficulty understanding why criminal charges aren’t always laid and how little the offender ends up paying for their loved one’s life.
“We investigate the circumstances of a crash and charge people based on the facts rather than the consequences,” Wright said. “Though killing somebody is very sad and tragic, the facts (in Kuipers’ and Rowdon’s) cases didn’t support that the driver’s actions were a marked departure from the standard care from a reasonable and prudent driver, which you need for a criminal charge to be laid.”
For its part, Ontario’s transportation ministry has no plans to increase penalties for HTA convictions involving death, ministry spokesperson Bob Nichols said, pointing out that, in 2006, the Liberal government did increase fines and sanctions for drivers who don’t obey pedestrian crossing rules to a range of $150 to $500, up from $60 to $500.
And charges or fines aren’t the only consequences for drivers who accidentally hit pedestrians.
In most accident cases, families can and do file lawsuits against the driver and their insurance company. The drivers also receive demerit points, which makes getting car insurance much more costly, if they can get insured at all.