You can’t get a harsher penalty than a death sentence

Apparently harsher penalties will stop people from texting while driving: Quote:

It was two days before Christmas and Eliot Jessep was waiting for his mum to arrive home. A cop showed up instead.

Eliot’s mother, Paula, was dead. Police later revealed she was texting before her car crossed the centre line and hit an oncoming vehicle, leaving three young women trapped and injured.

Her death, Coroner Wallace Bain said, showed the dangers of texting behind the wheel – she sent 19 messages in the 45 minutes leading up to the head-on crash.

Seven years since his mum was killed north of Tirau, Eliot Jessep says punishments for the crime remain too light.

Being caught texting and driving will cost you $80 and 20 demerit points. That could be about to change. End quote.

What does he think would have stopped his mother from texting while driving? You can’t get much harsher than a death sentence. Quote:

Acting Associate Transport Minister James Shaw told Stuff he had ordered transport officials to investigate the effectiveness of harsher overseas penalties.

“This includes the use of safety cameras and other technologies, and higher penalties for distracted drivers,” Shaw said.

“I expect officials to consider whether the penalty for cell phone use is proportionate to similar offences and the risk posed.”

Late last year, the Ministry of Transport said it had no plans to increase the penalties.

The move to look into changes follows comments by Auckland Transport (AT) chairman Lester Levy last week that New Zealand had been “incredibly light” on enforcement.

“In London, for example, they have cameras looking for texters and if you get caught you get half of your demerit points … so that’s a pretty high sanction,” he said.

“Not everything can be stick, but when you speak to the people who were really critical in the VisionZero introduction in Sweden they did say that in the initial phases you may need more enforcement than you might have later.

“So it cannot be carrot only – there does need to be stick, and that’s probably an area where in New Zealand we’ve been incredibly light.”

Currently, the fine in Australia is A$400, while in Canada it is generally C$490. End quote.

And yet people still do it. Increased fines won’t stop anyone doing it. If they aren’t convinced it is a stupid thing to do while driving because of the risk to their own life then nothing will stop them doing it.

You can’t stop stupid. This is just Darwinism in action.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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