The judge’s decision to fine the traffic officer responsible for causing the death of a motorcyclist by carrying out a 3-point turn on a highway is disgraceful. That the charges of ‘dangerous driving causing death’ and ‘dangerous driving causing injury’ were dismissed in favour of ‘careless use of a motor vehicle’ (despite the fact that he said that the policeman’s driving WAS dangerous) and a $250 imposed makes a mockery of our courts. One can only wonder at the decision that smacks of double-standards (I cannot believe that a member of the public in court for the same charges would get off so lightly), and the judge perhaps making a decision based on the apparent excessive speed of the motorcyclist who died. The officer concerned, Michael Lenihan, by the use of the words “I’ll have him!!” comes across as something of a macho individual who might lose some focus when it came to making a sensible and reasoned decision to obstruct a main road by turning his vehicle around.
Clearly our police have an enforcement job to do, and clearly the public continue to present situations that require intervention, but there is no justification for such double-standards to exist. If this situation had involved a civilian driver would he/she have had charges down-graded and been fined a paltry $250? I don’t think so.