Imagine a man is walking down the mall in the middle of Perth. He is carrying a rifle. He starts firing the gun up in the air.
It's loud. People start fearing for their lives. They duck for cover. But he's not a terrorist. He's just having a bit of fun. He lets off a few more rounds into the sky as parents cover their children who are screaming. Everyone nearby is completely afraid for their lives.
One of the bullets hits a window in an upstairs building and narrowly misses a young lady's head.
Eventually he's run out of bullets and wanders off to have a beer.
The Police eventually catch up with the guy because one onlooker managed to film the event on their iPhone. The man appears before a magistrate, and claims he wasn't meaning to hurt anyone. He has a gun licence and realised now that what he was wielding was a dangerous weapon, not just a hunting tool, and he promises not to do it again. He's really sorry that some people got a little startled, and he regrets his actions.
But the magistrate is furious. He says the man needs to learn a lesson. So he takes away his gun licence and makes him hand over his gun for 28 days.
WAIT!!! HANG ON. THAT WOULD NEVER HAPPEN.
The guy would be all over the front of every newspaper in the country. Authorities would be trying to charge him under counter terrorism laws. He'd be in jail quicker than you could count to zero. He would be sued by every shop, person, or dog that was anywhere near the incident. He wouldn't be able to show his face in public if he ever did get out of prison. He'd have to change his name, and he'd end up living in a two horse town in the middle of nowhere for fear of retribution for the terror he caused to so many innocents. Even his family would have to relocate and change their names after the amount of press their black sheep idiot caused them.
Every day, idiots do essentially the same thing with a deadly tool, striking fear into the heart of their fellow citizens, when they drive like complete maniacs on our roads.
And our politicians and magistrates, despite promising to get serious every election, still have not got these people off our roads.
Sure, they made it more time consuming to get a licence. But I've just watched two teenagers get their licence. All the log books in the world don't make up for the fact that the crappy computer game you have to pass to get your licence is a complete and utter joke. There are still plenty of incompetent people driving around today.
And yes... it's now illegal to have car advertisements that show cars breaking the road rules without little disclaimers pop up on the screens. That will stop people thinking hooning is cool. Clap. Clap. Excuse me while I finish playing Need for Speed then watch Furious 7. (Note, I don't think banning those movies or games is a smart idea btw)
And cops can confiscate people's cars. Yay. But guess what. Tomorrow that same idiot can hop in their mate's car and drive it, even without a licence. Just like so many of them do. Just follow any Police account on Twitter and you'll soon be sick of all the stories of unlicensed drivers being arrested.
Turns out the cars don't actually ask if you have a licence. They just start when you turn the key. It's as though people handing down the penalties use chauffeurs or something and don't actually realise how cars work.
Today my wife had her life put at risk by 3... that's right... 3... idiot drivers. She was driving from Mandurah to Geraldton with my 6 month old in the back.
Here are her words:
“I am fuming right now.
What will it take Geraldton residents? Yet another mother dead and baby motherless!!
Do you really have to experience it for yourself before you stop over taking a car and truck over a solid white line with oncoming traffic!! If I didn’t pay full 110% attention and slowed down in preparation to make a gap for you to get off quickly my baby and I could have been your next biggest life mistake!!!!!!
Three cars did this to me only ten minutes south of Geraldton going through Greenough. So what if you get home 5 min later than expected! At least then MY family may see me return to give them hugs.”
We have all made dumb mistakes on the road. A moment of inattentiveness. A few seconds of zoning out. HOLY CRAP DID I JUST DO THAT?! We snapped out of it and thanked God for another chance.
But that's not what I'm talking about.
What I'm talking about is deliberate attempts to save a few minutes of time by taking massive risks and breaking a clear laws.
And what's the worst thing?!
The fact that none of us are shocked. We see this kind of thing ALL. THE. TIME.
It's time we charged these people with the crimes they are committing. They have caused terror. They have endangered lives.
They may not like the sentence. But I'm sure they'd hate having blood on their hands even more.
Criminal Code Western Australia (link)
304. Act or omission causing bodily harm or danger
(1) If a person omits to do any act that it is the person’s duty to do, or unlawfully does any act, as a result of which —
(a) bodily harm is caused to any person; or
(b) the life, health or safety of any person is or is likely to be endangered,
the person is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.
Driverless cars can't get here fast enough.