The ramblings of a giant squid…

Teens getting the short end of the stick, old people get away with killing people…

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This post isn’t very Christmasy because I saw something in the paper this week that is decidedly Grinchy.

Back in November, I wrote this article dealing with Ontario’s move to stick it to young drivers. Ontario has slightly backed off from that position, but they’re still going ahead with the bulk of that legislation, and it’s still aimed at teens.

Now, I’m not going to say that new drivers don’t need some extra encouragement to become responsible, competent drivers. It would be wrong to suggest otherwise. However, cranking up the restrictions more and more to give new ways to slap them with a rolled up legal document is not the answer.

On the other hand, OLD PEOPLE, as noted in my previous article are at least as dangerous as new drivers per mile driven. The primary reasons we don’t see mass carnage from senior citizens on the road is that there are less of them and they don’t drive as much. But each time they take the wheel, they’re more dangerous than a carload of teens.

Worse… they get away with it when they damage property, injure, or kill someone.

In Canada, everyone is supposed to be equal under the law without regard to age, sex, etc. Why then is this person not being convicted of criminal negligence causing death, vehicular manslaughter, or even dangerous driving? Yes, there probably is no value in sending an 85 year old to jail. Fair enough… but she *SHOULD* have a criminal record.

If I drove through a bus stop and killed people, you can damn well believe that I’ll be explaining myself in front of a judge. If a 19 year old did it there would be howls about misguided, irresponsible youth. Until that moment, the 85 year old was probably getting a deep discount on her insurance… meaning that the rest of us insured are actually the ones who paid for that accident.

Now, the perpetrator has given up her driver’s licence. Given up – it should have been taken. There will be no record of this, except perhaps in an actuarial table somewhere. For all intents and purposes, it is like it didn’t happen… unless you’re the family of Jacqueline Dyrkton.

Of course, being a few years younger doesn’t carry the same lack of personal responsibility for one’s actions I guess…

What is the value of giving an 85 year old woman a criminal record?

  1. It allows Canadian justice to be seen as fair, equal, and impartial.
  2. It means that there will be a record of the CRIME – and that’s what it was, a crime – for all time. A record that other people can refer to. A record that shows that old people are just as dangerous as young people.
  3. It means that this woman doesn’t completely weasel out of paying for her crime.
  4. It sets a precedent and a reminder that being a senior citizen does not absolve you of your responsibilities under the law.

Everyone would be quick to ruin the life of a 20 year old who drove through a bus stop… but the real question is “Why does it matter how old the driver was?” An incompetent driver killed a person and injured 3 other people. That’s what matters. The law should be enforced.

So come on Dalton McGuinty… let’s see you pursue the senior citizens and their driving with the same vigour and enthusiasm with which you go after young drivers. Let’s see some equality before the law… it’s something we’re entitled to according to the Charter of Rights.

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