Driving fines light in B.C.

Re. Poll: Street racing fines (Castanet, Sept. 20)

I think that the penalties in B.C. are the lightest in the country for all driving infractions.

Case in point, the female driver caught in Richmond a few years ago with 14 distracted driving tickets and still held a licence. The only reason her licence was suspended was the RCMP officer who caught her couldn't believe she was still able to have a licence and went to the (media).

The recent story about the two street racers caught on Gordon Drive (in Kelowna) is a prime example of our lax penalties and spotty to no enforcement.

Here's an example taken from Ontario:

Drivers who are involved in stunt driving or street racing are subject to:

• An immediate 30-day driver’s licence suspension

• An immediate 14-day vehicle impoundment at roadside (whether it is your vehicle or not)

• A minimum fine of $2,000 and a maximum fine of $10,000

• A jail term of up to six months

• A post-conviction licence suspension of:

• A minimum of one year and a maximum of three years for the first conviction

• A minimum of three years and a maximum of 10 years for a second conviction

• A lifetime suspension, reducible after 10 years under certain criteria, for a third conviction

• A lifetime suspension, non-reducible, for a fourth and subsequent convictions

• Six demerit points

• A mandatory driver improvement course, upon conviction

Demerit points in Ontario are not "penalty" points, which I equate to putting money in the collection plate at church to ease your guilt. At 13 demerit points your licence is automatically suspended. Also, demerit points affect what you pay for insurance or cause you to become uninsurable.

Just imagine how many drivers would be off the road in Kelowna if there were real penalties for bad driving.

Mark Boyer, Kelowna

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