Archive for August 30th, 2011

Ailish and I had very different approaches to how fast one should drive.

On the highway, I believe you should pretty much go the speed limit. This used to drive Ailish absolutely crazy. I used to catch her looking at my speedometer and rolling her eyes. I’m pretty sure this is why she normally slept while I drove, just so she wouldn’t get annoyed. She thought the speed limit was a mere suggestion, and a rather stupid one at that. She did not drive recklessly, but she did not drive the speed limit.

On the other hand, I also managed to drive Ailish to distraction when in residential areas. There, too, I went the speed limit. Ailish thought this was dangerous and irresponsible, and that one should drive 30 Km/hr in neighbourhoods. She claimed this is what society demanded. I claimed if society wanted to demand that, they could do so by lowering the posted speed limit from 50 to 30. Ailish would just roll her eyes at me.

Court Confusion

Today, I went down to court to file a Victim Impact Statement, and to try to determine if it was worth my while showing up tomorrow, the date of the bus driver’s court date. The result was utter confusion.

Normally, Victim Impact Statements are filed only in criminal cases. The bus driver has been charged under the Traffic Safety Act and is mandated to appear at the Provincial Traffic Court rather than Criminal Court. The lady I spoke to in traffic court clearly had never seen a victim impact statement before and was rather confused by my request to file it. Her supervisor also was unable to shed any light on the matter. She indicated that it would make no difference to the sentence as the penalties had already been set out. She asked what I hoped to accomplish and I stated that the bus driver killed my wife and I wanted to file a Victim Impact Statement. She clearly figured that I was not going to leave the court until they accepted my statement, so she (very reluctantly) did, and added it to the file.

I have little faith that the statement will ever actually be read into the record (or presented to the bus driver) if he is indeed found guilty. Section 3 of the Provincial Offences Procedure Act implies (to me) that they must accept and use the statement, but given the total confusion, I suspect it will conveniently be lost.

After much consultation with friends (thanks, D and J) and with information given to me by the court employee, I will not be attending court tomorrow. If there’s a trial, it almost certainly will not happen then. If he does plead guilty tomorrow, it would be in front of a Justice of the Peace, not in a real courtroom.

At this time, I do not want to publish the statement I wrote. However, I will point out that I had exactly two things I wanted to say when writing the statement:

  1. Ailish was awesome; and
  2. I really miss her.
It’s not quite what you are meant to say in a Victim Impact Statement, but it is all that really matters.