Thursday, June 21, 2007

Define Something Here...

So, how does Ontario's Attorney General think he is going to KNOW that a car is being built for "street racing"?

It's perhaps one thing to talk about punishments such as making a street racer's car forfeit IF YOU CAN PROVE THEY WERE RACING, it's quite another thing to do what he's talking about:

“If we can establish someone has parts and they're juicing up their car — obviously for the purpose of street racing — then we can seize those vehicles,” Mr. Bryant said.

“We will seize it and you will never see it again. We will crush your car, we will crush the parts.”

Mr. Bryant said cars built for street racing are as dangerous as explosives and can cause catastrophic damage.


I have several problems with Bryant's rantings here. First, he is talking about exacting punishment without any kind of process of law. He's talking about the mere act of enhancing your car as a punishable here. Get pulled over one day for a minor infraction, and the officer decides that your car is the one he wants crushed, and presto, you're out whatever that car cost you? No. Wrong. Just as wrong as Harper's "no fly list" - for the same reasons.

Second, I doubt very much that you could define just what characteristics either street racing, or a street race car, would have in any legally sustainable manner. I just put new rims and tires on my car - they're a little showy, does that mean in Bryant's ranting little world that I am making my car a "street racer"? Define just what "street racing" is, and you will quickly discover that it changes; try to define what a "street racer" is, and half the exotic cars on the road probably become illegal.

Besides, I know people whose cars are tuned for rally racing that they do on weekends - and they drive those cars to work during the week. Does that make them dangerous? No. {In fact, I trust those people to drive their cars well better than the average "soccer-mom in a minivan" who is yakking on her cell phone on her way to pick up little johnny from wherever.}

What about the amazingly custom T-Bucket's out there that are amazingly hot cars, but their owners drive them more to "show off the artwork" than anything else?

Ontario's AG has a justifiable reason to be outraged. His rage needs to be directed at the racers themselves, not their cars. There are too many legitimate reasons that someone may have dolled up their car, and no good reason to confiscate it simply because some police officer is having a bad hair day.

If the AG wants to do something, ratchet up the fines and penalties for the offenses that street racers commit. (Driving without due care and attention, excessive speed, reckless driving, public endangerment, criminal negligence, etc.) Catch them, and throw the book at them, by all means. But do so through the processes of law and due process that Canadians are guaranteed under the Constitution itself.

A hot car is not a crime, it doesn't even represent intent to commit a crime.

In California, there is apparently a law that allows the government to destroy a car after someone has been convicted of an appropriate crime. (I don't know the details of this law, but at least there's some kind of due process wrapped around it)

It seems of late that our politicians have a propensity for forgetting that Canada has a Constitutional framework for its laws, as well as laws.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

And once he passes THAT law... any car that can drive over 110km/hr should also be seized, because obviously there aren't any roads in Canada that allow a faster speed, and if your car is CAPABLE of committing a crime... well, it's EXACTLY the SAME as having committed that crime.

Oh boy! And if you own a gun... or a knife... or have a single thought about crime... well, big brotha's a watchin! (Quick Arrest Steven King... he's obviously thinking about a lot of crimes... Oh, and also... {link to list of authors from Chapters.ca}.

Grog said...

He wasn't talking in terms of legislation from what I saw. He was talking about simply doing.

Anonymous said...

Legislate, Dictate..

Well, with the current power base, who can REALLY tell the difference?