A Napanee Ontario Court judge, G. J. Griffin, has come to the only conclusion that anyone with even a passing familiarity with the English language, our legal system or basic fairness could come to - that the Julian Fantino street racing/stunt driving law which makes a police officer judge, jury and executioner in a certain class of speeding infractions is unconstitutional.
Of course it is. How did this ever get through our legislature? Does somebody have incriminating photos of our M.P.P.s or something?
But O.P.P. Sgt. Dave Woodford, who seems to have been saddled with the sad task of trying to defend the indefensible, says Fantino's minions are going to keep laying charges.
Sgt. Woodford was quoted on Breakfast Television this morning as saying that they believe it applies only to this individual case.
Um, Dave: I know you have more than a passing familiarity with the English language, and I understand the bit about you having to obey orders.
But do you - does anybody within the O.P.P - not have a passing familiarity with the concept of judicial precedent?
This law never stood a chance of passing judicial review.
And I would have thought that the role of our police forces is to defend and uphold our constitutional rights, not to deny them to the citizens they allegedly (and have been sworn to) serve and protect.
Never mind that the entire concept of speed limit enforcement is totally bogus.
It doesn't work.
It has never worked.
It CAN never work.
Why? Because no amount of speed limit enforcement we can begin to afford, especially of speed limits that are artificially low, will ever have a marked effect on the speeds we drive.
The fact that over 7,000 speeding charges were laid this past weekend alone proves that. If it DID work, why are we all still "speeding"?
And even if speeds could be reduced, there is zero evidence it would have any positive effect on our traffic casualty statistics.
Because speed per se is considered a factor - by the police themselves, according to the crash reports they are required to fill out - in only a relative handful (something around ten percent) of fatal or injury-causing crashes, vastly disproportional to the number of speeding charges laid (which comprise something around seventy percent of all traffic tickets issued).
Why don't the police lay charges against the driving behaviours that DO cause crashes?
Because they are all too busy playing "King Canute".
"Going with the flow" is the only speed that makes sense, the only speed at which we can all be safest.
And "the flow" is way faster than our current limits, at least on our freeways where most of this unconstitutional activity takes place.
Speed limit enforcement as it is currently implemented is a complete and utter waste of scarce police resources, as even a cursory examination of the statistics proves.
And a cursory examination of some of the comments that have been logged on at least one web site dealing with this issue reveals that many in the public don't get it either.
To wit: "Clearly this judge and those of you who disagree with this law have never had a loved one killed by dangerous speeding."
I don't know about Judge Griffin. But I have indeed had a loved one killed in a traffic incident, which by definition involved "speeding", although I guess my five-year old sister could have run into a stationary ("non-speeding") truck hard enough to kill herself.
That bit of family history is in fact one of the main reasons I campaign so hard for traffic law enforcement that IS effective, and not political grandstanding, which is the sum total of this inane - and now officially unconstitutional - law.
Can't anyone but Judge Griffin see that Emperor Fantino has no clothes?