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Corner Hugger
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Discussion Starter #1
Here's a letter I just sent in to Wheels magazine... y'all may have heard about it. I guess enough is enough. Anyhoo you be the judge.

Dear Wheels,

OK. Enough is enough. Forget which expert is justifying which side of the speed debate. Throw away all common sense that's left among the government policy makers, if indeed there's any at all. I think we've found the ultimate justification for the police and government's sickening, life-endangering fetish for targeting young, speeding drivers and completely ignoring the other blatant signs of danger. Recently in Sydney, a young teenage girl was acquited of all responsibility in the deaths of 2 young high school friends who were sitting in the boot of her late model VW Gold hatch after she lost control of the vehicle, ploughed into a tree backwards, in the rain, on her P-plates, at night and the 2 boys tragically were killed. The courts found her not responsible at all. How about them being in her car when she had a right to say no, the fact that SHE was driving, that neither were sitting in government approved seats, that neither of them were wearing seatbelts, that it was raining at night and that doing even the limit at night in a car with driver alone, for her age, was probably unsafe. She could have said no. She could have come back to pick them up. She could have possibly even done 20km/h or even more below the limit. I'm no expert, but a kindergarten child could take a look at the written-off car and confirm it wasn't driving at a safe speed. The only safe speed would have been one where hitting even a stationary object wouldn't have caused any harm to her passengers, if any speed at all. She had at least 7 people in a VW Golf. Whilst I don't think she should be branded or lynched, I do believe she should never have the right to drive again, or at the very least be banned for a long time. She has to live with the scars and for that I'm sorry. But she is an adult regardless of her age. When in charge of a motor car, one is an adult not by choice but by necessity. My verdict, according to common sense and not legal technicalities and highly paid lawyers - 2 counts of dangerous driving causing death, negligent driving (for losing control) and 2 counts of passengers not wearing seatbelts even though none were available. Imagine the verdict if a guy had been driving exactly the same car and 2 girls were killed.

For crying out loud my dear NSW Government (and we are all crying hoarse here, it's beginning to hurt) start to target inexperienced drivers by teaching them how to drive, how to be responsible, how to judge a car safely. Target those damn Hyundai Excels with rear foglights, those Commodore SS with the 130w "driving" lights, those who are oblivious to all other road users (generally driving Japanese branded whitegoods), the multitude of obviously defective cars I pass every time I drive, the 400kw front wheel drive 1980 Turbos full of young guys doing 30 above the limit, the muppets who can barely see over the dashboard and drive 20km/h below the limit... where will it end? Can I just go out and deliberately run someone down, but because I'm doing the limit it's technically OK? As long as I'm not speeding I guess I can get away with anything. Obviously been done before. Coming from a 22 year old with not much driving experience, who is possibly awaiting his first ever ticket because he may have been doing about 7km/h over the posted limit in double demerits point time, alone, in a brand new car fitted with ABS, good tyres and in dry weather, I just think it's a little rich. Can I be the first to say I feel disgraced to own a NSW driver's licence?

Yours in rather heated sincerity,
Matthew



Let's see if it gets published. Cheers,
Matt
 

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I read in the paper the girl driving was the daughter of a prominent australian businessman. Daddy must have got some high price lawyers for her stupid ass. Makes me sick when rich people can buy their own freedom. Further on in the article she was quoted before the trial as saying "its not fair" about her having to go to court over the incedent. Well maybe she should think of the guys she just killed and their families and see how fair it is for them.
 

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hear, hear!!
 

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Here, Here.

I also hate how rich people seem to be able to buy their freedom surely she shouldnt be able to get off scot free and keep driving without some sort of licence suspension.
 

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Corner Hugger
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Discussion Starter #8
pretty ironic to think the cops will crack down hard on me for my possible small infraction, rip off half my licence in one fell swoop (6 points if 2 tickets for less than 15km/h over I think) and make me then risk losing it, when a girl can murder and totally get away with it coz daddy's got his dick in the back pockets of about 30 lawyers and his wallet out on the table. IT stinks. She doesn't deserve to drive. When I kill a few girls by letting them sit in my boot on a rainy night then let's see how they handle me. sexist, classist and definitely wrong.
 

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There was another case of a little rich kid who was 20 or something and driving a BMW close to double the national highway limit. Took his lawyers in to court and got off because the BMW is designed for high speed autobahns and he had a clean driving record. What a crock.

That little rich girl should have had the book thrown at her - in the damn head at full pelt!
 

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BA'o'Matic 100% working.
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The BMW may be designed for those sort of speeds, but umm well our wonderfully maintained roads are NOT, who was the dumb ass standing up on the cops side of things ??? . ...... I could have got the little bugger sent to jail I reckon.

I recall reading that story, but I have to say the 2 kids in the boot did so willingly and of there own accord, now I know the driver is ultimately responsible for the safety of those in the car (it sucks you get fined for a passanger not wearing a seat belt), so as said originally, in light of those facts she should have got fines at least and lost a alot of points, but again, why do cops have some dumb ass idiots on their side.

At this rate I think I will take my next offence to court, how hard could it be to win, based on these 2 stories ........... TOO BLOODY EASY.
 

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These kids must have got Johhny Cochrane to use his Chewbacca defence (South Park joke - Chef Aid episode) to get out of it
 

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bossxr8 said:
I read in the paper the girl driving was the daughter of a prominent australian businessman.
She did try to kill herself several times after the accident, 3 lives were really ruined on that night, if she is like any rational person, I doubt she will ever get over it.
 

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pauljh74 said:
There was another case of a little rich kid who was 20 or something and driving a BMW close to double the national highway limit. Took his lawyers in to court and got off because the BMW is designed for high speed autobahns and he had a clean driving record. What a crock.
I knew who that was, it was handled badly by all sides, he even went onto today tonight, and they absolutely drove him into the ground over it.

He was pulled over in a bmw 735L for doing 203km'h down the f3 dipper, pulled over by an unmarked police magna of all things. On his first appearence in court, the argument was that the car was designed to handle those speeds, and given the traffic flow, although it was breaking the law, no one was at risk.

For the record, the DPP appealed (and I agree that they should have appealled too) that case and he lost his license for a year, with a large fine, but the media didnt really notice the appeal at all, so its just the rich kid that got away. His defence must have cost $15k
 

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*jumps into flameproof suit*
I dunno, its one of those really hard ones (with the girl that is).
The neg driving or careless driving charge is still in the courts, only the two charges of occasioning death have been thrown out.

Yes, it was a stupid thing to do, but I don't think she deserves to be totally lynched over it (although driving bans for a while couldn't hurt). While it hardly makes her an angel, there were mitigating circumstances in the case (which some might see as a cop out).

Just for the record:
*She wasn't originally intending to drive at all that night, but decided to in favour of the two other friends (who were supposed to be driving), who she noticed had been drinking.
*The other friends had offered multiple people lifts (including the boys) - not the girl - and she was stuck in a position with many drunk friends who all wanted to travel - under immense peer pressure (Yes I know she should have done two trips etc etc - although in fairness, it is hard to argue with 6 drunk ppl).
*All travellers in the car got in there *voluntarily*.
*The girl actually offerred to travel *herself* in the boot in an attempt to alleviate the fights (which I think demonstrates the level of pressure she was under)

At the end of the day, it was stupid, but was also an accident that was originally based around good intentions... I don't think she should by any means be excused for this accident and mistake - but at the same time, I don't think she should be the sole target of a witch-hunt.

While you cannot really apportion responsibility onto the parents who's house the party was at, it is perhaps disappointing that they weren't more closely watching the travel arrangements of the young (some would suspect underage) drunk people at the party . . .

As for the "car is capable" excuse, that that got anywhere in court is deplorable. If you are rich and well educated, does it give you more rights than everyone else ? Depressingly, it seems it does in the legal system.
 

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Its not an issue of the govt letting her get away with it, its more the case that the preciding judge found that the evidence held against her by the DPP was insufficient. Because of the nature of the crash scene, apparently it was hard to tell exactly what speed the car was travelling at, and the fact that it spun into the powerpoll.

It certainly wasn't uncle bob letting her off the hook, the judge simply rulled that the evidence was insufficient to prosecute with; the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt, but the defence only needs to prove on the balance of probabilities, that is, for the defence evidence, it more than likely not happend.

It also seems that all families involved, including the victims, did not want to go thru the trial process. God knows what will happen with the neg driving charge. Sounds pretty bad and sad though.

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/01/07/1073437350652.html

As for the "car is capable" excuse, that that got anywhere in court is deplorable. If you are rich and well educated, does it give you more rights than everyone else ? Depressingly, it seems it does in the legal system.
Oh dear, yes we all like to remember how nice it is for the rich to get off dont we? As I said, it was appealled by the DPP, probably because it became such a high profile case because of the tall poppy syndrome, and he lost his license for a year.

Chances were, if it was a middle class family, that could afford to go to the extremes that his family went to in his defence, he probably would have gotten away with it.

Im starting to get a little worried about the amount of trial by media that is going on round the place. There is nothing wrong with the legal system at all, it works doesnt it - hows the old saying ? its better for 9 guilty people to go free than to have one innocent person go to jail? Thats what the media seems to fail to notice. There was no follow up on "the car was built for it" excuse, so everyone thinks some rich brat got away with speeding, nor can people understand why this other young girl is getting "let off", she probably would'nt be let off if there was substantial evidence against her, or if the family of the victims wanted some form of punishment against her.
 

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Who cares really what speed the car was at, could have been rolling along at 2k's an hour, makes no diff, SHE was driving, had TOO many people in the car, and she killed them. So how can she NOT be prosocuted, why does speed matter, people are dead.

The legal system has alot to answer for, and if it was my kids dead, i would have made sure SHE went to jail for her actions.

Jason
 

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Well im half certain that when the accident happened, the requirement on seatbelts and car seating was that every belt in the car must be used, I dont think there was a requirement that every person in the car must be belted until shortly after the accident.
 

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dave_au,

what was brought in after that accdient was a requirement that everyone in the car must be seated, not just 'inside' the car - they've gotta be in the positions designed to hold people (i.e seats lol), and nowhere else. Or something like that.

XR8 Lamah, you're right it is a hard one, and I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you're all pretty much basing your opinions on what the media has reported - not the full facts, just what they think is good enough to go on TV. Just imagine if that was your daughter - she was probably pressured into taking them all (I mean, if you were her would you stand up to 8 teenage guys on your own? Probably not!), and now she has to live with what has happened forever. So maybe instead of wanting to 'throw the book at her' etc etc, you should start feeling a bit sorry for her, because it'd no doubt be a terrible thing to live with.

On our local news last night, the mother of one of the guys killed said she was glad the driver was not charged/jailed. I think that says a lot. If the mother of one of the people who died can forgive her, and tell her to 'move on', that shows that we all should, because we have nowhere near as much of an emotional attachment to any of the people involved.

So yeah, while your letter raises a few good points, I think you also need to back down and rethink a few things too.
 
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