I do believe it is time in this country for a reform of our police services and justice system - right across this country. It appears to me, to be very broken.
What sparks this observation?
Well, beyond the abuse of authority and profiling issues that have been so prevalent, now comes this news out of Ontario - Begin Quote:
On May 29, 2010, Sherwood, 58, was killed when his motorcycle was involved in a collision with a truck being driven by Casey Rutledge, 22, of Bracebridge. The accident occurred at the intersection of Gibbs Road and Manitoba Street in Bracebridge.
Rutledge was subsequently charged with impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death. However, when Rutledge appeared in a Huntsville courtroom on Feb. 28, he was instead convicted of careless driving and sentenced to a $1,000 fine, a nine-month driving ban and two years of probation. End Quote.
So, how did this happen? According to the Cottage Country Now article - Begin Quote:“Subsequent to the investigation and the report being given out, the drug recognition officer was decertified and is no longer considered to be an expert for the OPP,” said Jeanes.
Court transcripts indicated that a traffic reconstruction report was also quashed, after another expert was stripped of his certification.
“A review of his work also resulted in him being decertified, and therefore, the Crown is not able to rely on any opinion with respect to (traffic reconstruction),” said Jeanes in the transcripts. End Quote
Apparently the head office of the OPP said they could not reveal why the officers were decertified without their names and a spokesperson for the Attorney General's office who represents the Crown Attorney's office referred the reporter back to the OPP.
Passing the buck, bad paperwork, a lack of common sense and civility appears to be becoming the norm. A rider's life appears to mean very little in court. Just look at the case of Monty Robinson, this RCMP officer is facing obstruction charges for killing motorcyclist Orion Hutchinson as opposed to facing drunk driving and vehicular manslaughter charges because he knows how to play the system.
In BC people have been getting off of all kinds of charges for the lack of crown councils, and yet the RCMP have stepped up their profiling of Motorcyclists.
I am afraid for the "justice" system in this country and anyone who has to go through it who is a victim.
The only things I can recommend to riders everywhere is to document EVERYTHING from every stop. Take pictures, write notes, get video if you can. And please, send them to me. We are creating a repository to track and document all of the complaints - this way we will have a full chronicle of everything to take to a civil liberties lawyer and hopefully to the supreme court. AND MAKE SURE you PLUG up the courts by FIGHTING YOUR TICKETS.
In the meantime I have begun a News Feed article on KNOWING YOUR RIGHTS and as I gather more information I will post the links and documents that are either sent to me or that I myself find here: http://www.beltdrivebetty.com/index.php/latest-candian-national-news/287-news-canadian-national/10718-knowing-your-rights-and-protecting-your-civil-liberties
As Always - I welcome your feed back and discussions - let's work together - right across this country and make the profiling of our community - a visible minority, illegal like they did in Washington State!
Remember folks -
St Johns NB has decided to look at implementing the same noise bylaw as Bathurst and Fredricton.
In Enderby BC, a lady rider is in hospital after a left hand turning driver failed to see her.
Perhaps if motorcycle safety is really on the mind of the RCMP they should start clamping down on these drivers? Just a thought.
In Surrey BC, a rider who was on a pocket bike, on the street, with out a helmet was hit by a hit and run driver and is on life support.
There are many other articles in the news today and I hope you will take the time to check them out at www.beltdrivebetty.com
Please ride safely - ONLY use your pipes where absolutely neccessary to prevent a crash, be a smart rider who is on the look out for dangerous situations - and remember SIPDE - Scan, Interpret, Predict, Decide and Execute - hone those survival skills - they are still your best defence in preventing a crash!
Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider
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