Have a heart

An organization has been set up to lobby government to crack down on reckless drivers and street racers (and I use the term ‘racers’ loosely).
Truck driver Michael MacDonald is an active member of the organization, The Heart Group (Help Eliminate All Road Tragedies), and he brought the group to my attention in a recent e-mail. The group points out that of 5,139 reckless driving charges in Ontario, only 33% actually resulted in convictions. The sentences were often light, usually involving house arrest – if any time at all – even when an innocent person was killed as a result of their actions.
The Web site, at www.heartgroup.ca is well-designed and quite informative. It includes information on individual cases (including the one that took the life of trucker David Virgoe) and includes a petition calling for harsher sentences of those convicted of reckless driving or street racing.
The organization is still in its infancy, and the petition only has 43 names to date. However, the group plans to spread the word about the Web site and collect as much support as possible. Hopefully, law-makers in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada will appreciate the pain these people (many of them have personally lost loved ones to reckless drivers) are suffering.
I think it’s a noble and worthwhile endeavor, even though I question the effectiveness of online petitions in general. Still, hopefully the group will increase awareness about what is a growing problem on our highways and urge our politicians to get serious about punishing drivers who endanger those of us who use our public roads responsibly.
For more information, visit www.heartgroup.ca .

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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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  • We are focusing on the petition right now, in the wake of the recent trial of Andre Telesford of Barrie Ontario and the death of Matthew Power, which occurred on November 5,2006 in downtown Hamilton, this is to help Adrienne Seggie (mother of Matthew) in her quest for justice for her son. For “a sentence fitting the crime”.

  • Drivers have to take more responsibility when entering the highway. Too many of the motorists on our highway do not realize the danger of driving to fast or playing games with other drivers. A lot of drivers are not educated in how to drive on the highway with larger vehicles. I think that Driver Training Courses must become more extensive than learning to stear a vehicle and read road signs. Our government should set stricter standards when giving Road Tests.

  • I would like to extend my sincere appreciation and gratitude from the very depths of my soul, for all of the support to this cause. I have been fighting along side many families to make changes for our society, and I feel the more supporters we have, the more awareness that is made, we can make a difference!! Please accept my humble and sincere thanks in helping us create positive change from such senseless carnage on our roadways!!
    Adrienne Seggie

  • There are too many people out there who take this issue lightly. It`s time for us to take a stand for these senseless acts of negligence. There may not be any intent to harm anyone. However, it`s too late when the deed has been done. The Judicial System in Canada has finally gotten very serious about stiff penalties for drinking and driving, and for wearing seatbelts. This matter must also be added.
    Thank you for taking the time to address this issue. I hope more people will join us in our endeavour.


  • I really hate to put it this way,but the politions WILL NOT do anything about this or anything else for that matter that concerns common citizens-until somthing happens to THEIR OWN Lets just hope they may open their eyes on this one before that happens!

  • id like to thank you james & all the other for your support in this urgent matter, my brother David would be so proud of his fellow trucker & common citizens who feel the same way as us at the heart group and for caring about our safety on the roads of life
    be safe out there, way to many people making very deadly decisions while driving.
    dean virgoe

  • I am pleased to see more and more people becoming concerned about the lack of common sense on the roads. If we as a population were to send as many requests for action to all the politicians that are now asking us to vote for them, now would be the time to hold their feet to the fire, and force them to commit to take action. Perhaps they can work on all the Provincial Government Transport Ministers to amend the criminal code, and mandate mandatory stiffer penalties to make it clear that reckless driving,which includes, but is not limited to, excessive speeding, rapid lane changing, tailgating, road rage, and street racing should carried high fines/suspensions and or mandatory jail time.