A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Car killers and justice

Only recently, near my home, an elderly woman was knocked down and killed by a speeding driver. She didn't die instantly. It took a while. But she was dead by the time she got to hospital. All she wanted to do was to cross the road to catch a bus. The bus stop could be seen from her bungalow. The driver is probably being questioned at length as no court case seems to have occurred yet.

I use this blog to have a go, so to speak, at the downright anti-social, selfish behaviour of some drivers. Road safety is not about penalising people, or it shouldn't be the first option. Good driving standards are about road safety. I'm all for freedom - freedom of expression, freedom to dress how you like, freedom to speak your mind, watch what you want, all the rest of it. But freedoms are not about frightening people or killing them. I certainly to not have a freedom to place a bomb under the seat of a person I may have fallen out with. I do not have the right to shout abuse at people. Freedom is only freedom if people can live peaceably together.

So it is hardly freedom to drive at 60mph or more in a 30mph zone. Frightening people, scaring people, annoying people. What kind of freedom is that? None at all in my view. However, many disagree. Or more pointedly, they can't be bothered or care not a jot for anyone else.

One such selfish sod was Atif Faiz, who was driving at twice the speed limit when he hit Amanda Bailey in Leeds Road, Nelson. Ms Bailey was crossing the street to a garage when Faiz's Astra hit her at 60mph in a 30mph zone. She died a short time later. No doubt in extreme agony. The judge told Faiz at the subsequent trial this week, "If you have any conscience, you should be haunted every day of your life by what you have done and the hurt you have caused." I hope so. Sorry might be a start!

Faiz got three years in jail. Seeing as HM Prisons are not about punishment or even rehabilitation these days, more about cell occupancy management, Faiz will be out in 18 months with the possibility of driving down another road. What sticks in the craw is the fact that it was a hit and run. He knew she was dying! As Ms Bailey's mother says, "I'd never have left the body in the road - I wouldn't do that to a dog or a cat so I wouldn't do it to a human being".

Three years for this? This is not justice - it is merely a slap on the wrist. If the sentence had been appropriate (ten years in my opinion) the judge would not have needed to rub it in to Faiz.

In Britain, speeding is seen as being perfectly OK with lots of people. I see it every day. White vans, parcel delivery vans, reps, executives, those going to the leisure centre - most going too fast. The attitude is that those driving come before anyone else. In fact, "what the hell is that guy crossing the road for?" is more like it. I'd have a properly dedicated traffic court where those accused of traffic violations go. We need a complete overhaul of how we deal with the misery and mayhem that follows the selfish and mean-spirited actions of some people.

The young woman pictured above is dead. Not because she had a disease or was involved in a true accident. She was killed by a man in a moment of self-centred desire. What a waste of a life!


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