A couple of years ago I was having coffee with a social worker or two and someone went speeding by at a ridiculous speed. I wondered aloud if the number of traffic violations could be cut down significantly if they gave insanely high fines? My friends assured me that harsher sentences never work. This was a bit of news to me. I knew capital punishment doesn't work as a deterrent. But to say 'harsher sentences never work?' I was open to the idea.
That idea didn't surprise me for crimes that come from the depravity of man, such as murder, rape, theft, drugs, etc. But traffic violations? A few years ago in Nova Scotia they passed a law whereby if caught speeding, even 10 km/h over the limit, you would loose your license for a week, plus a fine. For the last summer I was home in Nova Scotia I knew that I could not afford to be without a license for a week. I might be able to pay a fine, but not loss of licence. So I slowed down.
Now something similar is happening in Ontario. As of last Sunday, according to today's article, if caught going over the limit by 50 km/h or more, you could face a week without a license, an impounded car, and a $2000 fine without right of appeal.
So it will be interesting to see if this actually works. Will people slow down? Will fatalities be reduced? Where's the laws against tail-gating? Will the new law stand up to any constitutional challenge?