Tags: culpable driving

18 Mar 2008, Comments Off on Compare and Contrast

Compare and Contrast

Author: Helen

Tom Towle, Father of the Year 2007, speeds down a highway near Mildura one dark night at speeds in excess of 120 KPH; drunk, with his four year old son on his lap (it has not been completely established whether the infant was, in fact, steering). He ploughs through a group of teenagers who are walking on the verge, killing six. He flees the scene and disappears into vineyards, abandoning his two distressed and bruised children in the car to be managed as best they can by emergency services. He has numerous prior convictions including burglary, assault and of course, numerous driving offences.

Later, in court, he is found not to be guilty of “six counts of culpable driving causing death” (Wasn’t manslaughter even an option here?), but instead, guilty of a lesser charge of “dangerous driving causing death”.

A few months later, there is a serious non-fatal accident involving a bicycle hitting a pedestrian (there has been one fatality in similar circumstances two years before this.) The response? Change the laws so they’re tougher on cyclists than on someone like Towle.

A new crime for cyclists, possibly similar to culpable driving for motorists, will be introduced into State Parliament later this year.

Roads Minister Tim Pallas revealed the new tough line on irresponsible cyclists after a hit-run accident on Tuesday night that left a man, 62, in intensive care.

I don’t like cyclists who flout the road rules, but sometimes I can understand where they’re coming from. How can young hotheads respect the law when they see it applied like this?
Crossposted at Road to Surfdom