The story of the day is Street Racing.
Did you know that street racing kills more people in a day than lung cancer and postal workers kill in an entire year???
If you don’t believe me… well then you probably haven’t been catching the news these days. It seems that street racers are killing people left and right and need to be stopped at all costs.
From the office of the Prime Minister, we get this:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today that the government will introduce legislation this spring to crack down on street racing. “Let’s be clear, street racing isn’t about kids having fun. It’s reckless, dangerous, and all too often it kills.” said the Prime Minister. “That is why our government will introduce legislation to tackle this serious problem head on.”
So then.. how many people are being killed?
From CBC News I get this:
There are no official Canadian statistics on street-racing or related deaths. But 33 people in Ontario have been killed due to street racing, according to Project E.R.A.S.E., which stands for Eliminate Racing Activities on Streets Everywhere. The Ontario-based program is a joint project involving 15 police departments and government ministries in Ontario. There is no national equivalent, but the problem is Canada-wide, said program coordinator, Const. Kent Taylor of the Ontario Provincial Police. And, “the death toll is rising.”
So 33 people. They didn’t say 33 people so far this year. Or in the past 10 years. They just say 33 people have died in Ontario from street racing. And this is just a number that this committee is quoting to justify their budget. I trust readers will have an opinion of their own on how many of those incidents ACTUALLY had anything to do with racing.
Incidentally, I found stats saying that 17 people were killed in Toronto back in 01/02 from street racing. Take that as you will.
Now then… what should they do about it? Well the new laws they’re proposing are suggesting a maximum penalty of LIFE IN PRISON. Add to that the fact that they’re already confiscating people’s cars as “instruments of crime” and you can get an idea of how blown out of proportion this whole thing is getting.
For comparison, in 2003 over 100 people were killed in Ontario by drunk drivers. Why aren’t they tightening up those laws? I’ll bet they’re catching a whole lot more drunk drivers than they are street racers. Why aren’t they crushing THOSE cars on television??
For another comparison, consider that if you’re a teenager and you beat someone to death, you might just get ONE DAY IN PRISON.
As a little eye opener to those believing everything they read, consider the recent story about the 3 Corvettes on the 427.
First of all, just because the three cars were driving fast doesn’t mean they were racing. I’m not trying to justify the behaviour, I’m simply taking off the spin.
Secondly, the only one who was hurt in this (besides the friends and family and what not, obviously) was the driver himself. He chose to drive too fast and got himself killed. That’s a real shame.
So what about the other two guys? They’re going to have their cars confiscated and crushed because someone else lost control and killed themselves?
If that’s justified, then should I get life in prison if I’m jaywalking and someone near me, also jaywalking, gets run over by a cabbie?
My point here is that the whole thing is getting blown out of proportion by the media and the public terror they’re generating is pushing the politicians to enact laws that we don’t need and will only villify everyone on the road with a performance car.
What we REALLY need is some proper facilities by which people could take their cars racing legally and not risk having their insurance cancelled for doing it.
The police are telling people to “take it to the track” but what they’re not telling them is that if their insurance provider were to find out that they’ve done so, their policy will be instantly cancelled.
So on the one side they’re pretending to provide a solution, but on the other they are just a bigger part of the problem.