Breathing new life into "guilty with explanation"?

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watcher
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Breathing new life into "guilty with explanation"?

by: watcher on
Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:00 pm

R. ex rel. City of Toronto v. Doroz, 2011 ONCJ 281
http://www.canlii.org/en/on/oncj/doc/20 ... cj281.html

On appeal, found that the court can give a suspended sentence on guilty plea entered for speeding charges, if the judge feels circumstances do not warrant imposition of set fine. Financial or personal hardship were mentioned as typical examples in the judgment.


Stanton
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by: Stanton on
Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:43 am

Just had a quick read, kind of interesting. They don't think a suspended sentence should have been granted in this case, yet they don't feel the act itself is improper. I don't believe however that the decision is binding at that level of Court.


watcher
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by: watcher on
Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:07 am

At least the idea has made it to this level of court, and given the significant consideration apparently put into this ruling, doubtful it would be overturned if applied under the appropriate circumstances.

Maybe the JP's/judges are also getting tired of the ever-increasing stream of legally-enabled nuisance tickets (no high risk of collision/injury) and deliberately intended "plead down" traffic cases paraded before them? History shows ya can't legislate common sense, which is much of what the latest Ont gov't seems intent on doing with its endless permutations and combinations of "safer roads" legislation. And of course, the enforcement community gladly takes any increased powers handed to them to the max.

Are our roads actually "safer" with ridiculously low limits, unproven licensing restrictions/requirements, usurious insurance rates and excessively harsh penalties? Freakonomics said no, look to gas prices as obvious signal of economic correlations. Even gov't experts and industry observers question the glowing stats trotted out by politicos and enforcement PR dept's in support of still more traffic law.
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http://www.gorskiconsulting.com/news.ph ... om=&ucat=1&

As an example of how collision statistics can be misleading, the U.S. NHTSA has discussed the reduction of fatal collisions over the last number of years. They state:

"In the past, similar significant declines in fatalities were seen during the early 1980s and the early 1990s. Both of these periods coincided with significant economic recessions in the United States. During both these times periods, fatalities in crashes involving younger driver (16 to 24) declined significantly as compared to drivers in the other, older age groups. Both of these periods of traffic fatality decline were followed by periods of increasing fatalities and the magnitude of the increase was the greatest in crashes involving the younger drivers. This trend was also observed in multiple-vehicle fatal crashes. However during each period of increase following a period of decline, the annual fatality counts did not rise back to the level they were at prior to the decline."

So changes in collision statistics are also subject to economic changes in our society. If driving private passenger vehicles became too expensive for 90% of our population we would likely see an extremely large decline in collisions involving private vehicles. But can that say anything about the safety of our drivers, vehicles and roads?
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Simon Borys
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by: Simon Borys on
Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:39 pm

Stanton wrote:I don't believe however that the decision is binding at that level of Court.
It was a POA appeal, which is heard by a judge of the Ontario Court of Justice (Justice Libman in this case). As an appellate decision, it is should be binding on JPs who operate in traffic court.
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