I don’t think anyone would think of me as a law and order type, but I’m increasingly convinced that we have a dangerous lack of enforcement of existing traffic laws in the city, and a disregard for the destruction big metal vehicles cause.
So I am appalled that the two teenagers who were racing their parents’ Mercedes-Benzes at speeds more than 80 km/h over the speed limit when they killed a man have been sentenced to two years less a day, with one year to be spent in house arrest.
I have no doubt that this was an unfortunate accident, and I wouldn’t want to see any lives permanently destroyed because of bad judgement. On the other hand, one man is dead because two others knowingly and dangerously broke the law for kicks. I would be happy to have two people with so little regard for the rest of their fellow citizens and for society in general removed from it for a longer period of time.
During an interview with one of the speeder’s lawyers he detailed the other restrictions of the sentence:
* 150 hours of community service (that’s about 1.5 hours a week for two years)
* 4 years without driving (having spent 20 doing just that, I’m not seeing the hardship)
The Star story also notes that there is an 11 pm-6 am curfew for an additional year… that can be adjusted with their parents’ written permission. A bit of an irritant, no doubt, but an appropriate consequence for “dangerous driving causing the death” of Tahir Khan?
The lawyer claimed this sentence would act as a serious deterrent. I simply can’t believe that’s true, which means that speed racing is simply one of the many dangerous, theoretically banned driving activities that are ignored unless a cruiser happens to be handy… or someone dies.
(By the way, Diamond Taxi has raised $28,500 in donations since Khan’s death. That’s less than the cost of a single year’s tuition at St. Andrew’s College in Aurora, where the two “causers of his death” attended high school.)