Take Away Their Cars

Yet another speeding driver has struck a pedestrian and left her in hospital in critical condition. This time it was a woman in her 70s standing in a bus shelter. The driver was new, only 18, and going approximately triple the speed limit when he lost control. His licence has now been suspended for the third time.

But drivers without licences often drive regardless. Police enforcement of the laws we have is rare. We need a penalty that will stick. Winniped looked into siezing the cars of reckless drivers, but this offends the fundamental principle that the punishment be proportional to the crime: someone careening drunkenly in an old beater is no less muderous than the same driver in a fancy sports car.

We can still take their cars away. Make them sell them. If someone isn’t fit to drive, they aren’t fit to own a vehicle either. Forbid these drivers from registering a vehicle in their names. Provide their names to rental companies – surely they would rather not rent to such a risk. We don’t allow criminals to own guns; we shouldn’t allow criminals without licences to own cars.

2004-03-11

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