by Cedric Hughes, Barrister & Solicitor with weekly contributions from Leslie McGuffin, LL.B.

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Archived Posts

Cash for Clunkers

Cash for clunkers is a news story with enough angles to fit in most newspaper sections.  The political angle is the latest headline grabber, the US House of Representatives having voted — 316–109, on August 1st, within hours of learning from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood that the program was running out of money, to rush US $2 billion into it.  Senate support is likewise expected before its upcoming summer recess.

Should I Report a Suspected Impaired Driver?

On July 17 th , $32,000 was reportedly raised in a Delta golf tournament honouring the memory of Alexa Middelaer, a four-year-old girl struck and killed while feeding her favourite horse by the side of a road in Delta by an allegedly impaired driver in the late afternoon of May 17, 2008.

Driving the Wrong Way on the Highway

On Tuesday July 14 th , during the afternoon rush hour, an 84-year-old female driver entered Highway 99 from Highway 10 in Delta, driving southbound in the northbound lane at an estimated 110 km/hr speed for at least two kilometers until she crashed head-on south of the Highway 91 overpass.  In her wake was a path of destruction as various drivers she met head-on swerved to avoid her. One couple driving southbound attempted to match her speed and to catch her attention.  But to no avail.  “ She was fully 100 per cent in tunnel vision focus mode," they reportedly said.  In the end, she died at the scene of the final crash while the other driver involved sustained minor injuries.

Penalty Point Systems May Dramatically Change Driving Behavior

In British Columbia, drivers guilty of driving offenses under the BC Motor Vehicle Act (MVA) or the Criminal Code automatically receive penalty points on their driving record in addition to any fine or other penalty.  Paying a traffic ticket is seen as an admission of guilt that also results in automatic penalty points.  (Parking tickets and other minor violations of municipal driving by-laws are exceptions to this penalty points system.) The number of points depends on the offence.

The Social Cost of Traffic

Miracle survivors, the seeming indifference and bravery of the war-weary, the positive effect of optimism on long-term health—all are subjects of ongoing study.  We are fascinated by examples of human resilience—both by individuals and groups—to destructive force from whatever cause. We measure what is measurable, and poeticize about what is not.

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