I’ve always maintained that if you wanted to murder someone, you should do it with a car ‘accident’  With suitable arrangements you could avoid a jail term and maybe not even have your licence suspended.  (or at least be given a special licence to drive to the gym because you don’t understand public transport).  So I was delighted to read that,

The Western Australian Government has foreshadowed tough new laws for people convicted of manslaughter. The Attorney General Christian Porter says laws to be introduced in State Parliament today will see the maximum penalty for manslaughter increase from 20 years to life imprisonment.

 Mr Porter says the Road Traffic Act will also be amended so tougher penalties apply to people convicted of dangerous driving causing death.

He says present sentencing for deaths caused through violent or gross recklessness do not always reflect the enormity of a loss in the community’s eyes’

 A recognition at last that the punishment must be for taking the life of another; how it happened may be a mitigating factor.  Currently for road users, the reverse appears true with a death being an unfortunate by product of an ‘accident’. 

 I noted that on an ABC car programme on Sunday night, one of the commentators stated that up until the 1920 motor vehicle deaths were referred to as ‘killings’.  The term ‘killings’ was then replaced with the blameless ‘accident’.

Now all we have to do is to get the courts to put people first.

About Peter Bartlett