Newfoundland has a dangerous driving problem. It’s a frustration shared by anybody who drives on NL roads (except, I suppose, the guilty drivers) and you’ll never have trouble finding people eager to join in a conversation and tell the stories of all the close-encounters they’ve experienced while driving.
This is a long-standing issue, but lately, has either been getting worse or has simply been recieving more attention. In summer 2017 we had a spike in fatal accidents, although police say the overall trend is down. All the attention from those accidents solicited a response from at least one insurance company releasing a statement to terrible drivers, saying “we don’t want your business.” Insurance rates in Newfoundland were already under scrutiny, driven sky-high by, you guessed it, an above average number of claims.
Every time I see a driver run a red light just a little too late, blow past me on the highway, make dangerous passes or maneuvers, ignore the basic rules of a 4-way stop, or show aggression on the roads, the same thought enters my mind: is it really worth it? Is it really worth even a small fender bender, let alone a deadly accident? It seems nobody thinks of the consequences until it’s too late, or they simply have the “that could never happen to me” attitude.
“She’s dead. My life is f–ked.”
That brings me to the reason why I wrote this article, as the Hannah Thorne case makes its way through court, we heard a quote that really hits home. The moment when two dumbasses realized that their dangerous driving can have real consequences beyond getting pulled in by the cops or somebody flipping them off.
Brian Robert King pleaded guilty to street racing causing death and dangerous operation of a vehicle causing bodily harm. King, driving an F-150 with no insurance and on probation, was racing with Steven Ryan Mercer in July 2016, when his truck hit another vehicle head-on in a no-passing zone on Route 75. A passenger in the other car, 18-year-old Hannah Thorne, was killed.
King admitted to traveling at around double the posted 80km/h speed limit during the race. Witnesses reported seeing the vehicles driving dangerously, before then coming upon the accident scene moments later. King could be heard saying “She’s dead. My life is f–ked.” Let’s hope he’s since shown some remorse towards Hannah’s family and friends as well, rather than being selfishly concerned with his own life.
Is It Worth It?
It shouldn’t take a death to make people aware of the consequences of their actions on the roads. We see it every day. Far too many dangerous drivers aren’t even thinking 5-seconds ahead. I don’t even know if they’re thinking at all. Screw waiting 2-minutes at this red light, I’d rather risk an accident or killing someone. Screw driving the posted speed limit, there are no cops around anyway, I have to get home faster, let’s just make an illegal pass and get the hell out of here.
The disgusting display of negligence from these two men and the moment they were hit with reality should be a lesson to all drivers. There are real consequences to your actions of being an arsehole on the road. The Hannah Thorne story is just one of many where young individuals had their lives taken way too soon because of careless driving, the death of 17-year-old Alyssa Davis in 2015 and paralyzation of 22-year-old Morgan Pardy come to mind.
While accidents do happen, some unpreventable, much of what we see around here is the result of absolute carelessness. Whether it’s dangerous passing, running red lights, racing, or whatever else. So much of this is easily preventable, yet drivers don’t seem to care until it’s too late and their life is f–ked.