In the state of New Jersey, and many other states around this country, if you drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol and you cause a fatality, you almost automatically get indicted on criminal charges. Okay, we all know alcohol and drug use impairs your abilities. That is a no-brainer. But- if you are sober, you speed or otherwise drive recklessly and cause a fatality, you often do not get charged with a crime.
Driving a car is a priviledge, not a right. Along with the priviledge comes responsibility. Responsibility to follow the laws set forth in order to create a sense of order on the roads. Speed limits are determined by certain factors including amount of traffic, design of the road and other factors. They are supposed to be followed. If you speed you can expect that you may get a ticket depending on whether or not you get caught.
When you speed, you run the risk of losing control of your vehicle. Especially if you are a young driver, you do not have the experience to deal with the possibility of someone cutting you off or losing control because you hit a pothole or whatever. Many young male drivers speed and even race other drivers as a way of showing off. When this kind of behavior results in the death of one of their passengers or another motorist, there needs to be a punishment involved. Life is precious and too many young drivers do not realize the power of a motor vehicle. Wearing a seatbelt or not wearing a seatbelt, when you drive at speeds above the limit death or serious injury may occur.
When a driver does commit this kind of crime (yes it is a crime to take a life by auto) and does not get punishment aside from a short suspension of their driving priviledges, what kind of message does it send to other young drivers? We would hope that parents would raise their children to have a moral conscience but unfortunately, there are no laws that say they must. There are immoral people amongst us who have no regard for others. That is no surprise to many of us. When even the law does not step in to teach these drivers by indicting them on criminal charges it further threatens the safety of anyone who drives or rides on our nations roads.
If you feel like I do, that we need to put an end to sober drivers walking away from fatal accidents that they caused, I invite you to visit the Justice for Jennifer page. Read the story of her family's tragedy and the lack of punishment and remorse of the young driver who caused it all to happen. Write a letter, it doesn't take long, maybe you will be part of making a difference.
Justice for Jennifer
The consequences of reckless teen driving