A life is worth $2000. The system works.

I’ve seen a couple of news organizations (the Citizen and the CBC) cover the heartbreaking story of a driver, Felix Laframboise, who killed Kristine Cadieux and was forced to pay a measly $2000 fine. To add insult to the deceased’s family’s injury, they weren’t even allowed to make a statement in court…they weren’t even told about the court date until after the punishment, such as it was, was handed down.

Seeing the coverage of this story, all I can think is: Where the hell have you been?

In 2014, a driver killed a pedestrian and got a $1000 fine and three demerit points (as I wrote about in the Citizen three years ago). In that context, I guess a $2000 is pretty good.

(The cynic in me would note that it appears that we consider a driver’s life twice as valuable as a pedestrian’s, but I swear I’m trying not to be so cynical.)

Hell, you’re lucky if there are any charges

Years ago, Mario Theoret was killed by a driver on Hunt Club. All evidence, including reports from the police, demonstrate the driver was in the wrong; he dangerously and illegally crossed the bike lane when Theoret was there.

The driver was never charged.

Meg Dussault was run over by a truck driver on Bank at Riverside. She regularly gets blamed for it, as she was filtering (driving up beside a vehicle at a red light), even though filtering is legal.

The driver was never charged.

Laurie Strano was run over by a garbage truck driver during the Ride the Rideau event.

The driver was never charged.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad there’s coverage of this. My second reaction to seeing these reports was that I was very happy to see multiple media outlets care…because too often, there’s no evidence of that.

Now, I know that media outlets are understaffed, and I know that traffic “incidents” probably aren’t the most attention-grabbing stories (without some exceptional circumstances), but still, there’s hardly any follow up to the injuries and deaths in our streets.

Remember when someone was hospitalized when they were struck by a cabbie as they walked on the sidewalk on Elgin Street? I’ve seen no updates on any charges.

Remember when someone was killed by a driver while they were walking in the parking lot of the Metro in New Edinburgh? I’ve seen no updates on any charges.

Remember when Brian Thompson was run over by a pick-up truck driver while crossing the street at Somerset and Rochester? I’ve seen no updates on any charges.

There’s more, but it’s too time-consuming and way too depressing to research them all. Despite the challenges, it would be nice if we could get more follow-up on these issues…if we could actually remember the people whose lives are lost and drastically altered by car violence on our streets (and sidewalks and parking lots).

But for that to happen, society would have to care, and as Cadieux’s family is finding out, it doesn’t.

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