Weak message sent to new driver

NANAIMO – Re: Driver fined for Parkway crash, Feb. 28.

To the Editor,

Re: Driver fined for Parkway crash, Feb. 28.

I heard of the horrible crash on the Nanaimo Parkway, causing traffic to be stopped going both ways and tying up many emergency services for several hours on the morning of Feb. 22.

I then heard on CBC radio that the driver had  been given fines totalling less than $500 and a 24-hour prohibition from driving, all while being a “new driver”. I honestly believed that my beloved CBC radio had gotten this terribly wrong.

When the News Bulletin confirmed these details and added that the driver had been charged with driving without due care for driving so fast that he lost control and his vehicle became airborne, crossing to the oncoming traffic, causing minor injuries to himself another 66-year-old driver, along with very serious facial and pelvic injuries to a third vehicle driven by a 20-year-old, I was incredulous. The crash was so violent it wrote off all three vehicles involved.

The 20-year-old driver who sustained major injuries is still in hospital; his injuries will no doubt affect his whole life through no fault of his own as he simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I absolutely cannot believe all the driver received was a very minor slap on the wrist; he is a new driver and  the message that was sent to him is very weak and ineffective.

A 24-hour driving suspension is nothing, a minor inconvenience – he should have had his driver’s licence revoked without any chance of return until he has taken some form of counselling.

Less than five years ago our son was driving with his ‘N’ status and was caught twice going less than 20 km/h over the speed limit – the infractions were more than a year apart,  his driving privileges were removed with no chance of reinstatement for three months and he had to do his two-year ‘N’ status again.

We were told they initially considered giving him a six-month suspension.  These were and are his only infractions.

This caused quite a bit of inconvenience for our family as he was working full-time.

We thought it a bit harsh at the time but at the end of the day we felt a little more secure knowing that the powers-that-be were taking the education of our young drivers very seriously and must have had a no-tolerance policy.

Obviously if this policy ever existed, it has been very, very relaxed.

I desperately hope that the driver who caused this crash understands the horrendous nature of his actions and chooses not to get  behind the wheel to speed excessively again because  the 24-hour suspension is long over – he may be back on the road.

Joy Sarauer

Nanaimo