If a pedestrian jumped off a sidewalk, ran into the street, pulled a driver out of her car, and inflicted injuries so severe that the driver died moments later in the arms of a passing stranger.... that pedestrian would probably face more severe consequences than the driver who killed Erica Stark:
The driver who killed Erica Stark as she stood on a Toronto sidewalk broke down in court on Monday as she heard how her actions had shattered a family. The husband unable to work for months. Three young children devastated, one of them talking about suicide. The mother who laments that outliving her daughter “offends the natural order of life.” Monday’s conviction of Elizabeth Taylor for careless driving came as Canada’s largest city experiences one of its worst years for pedestrian fatalities since early last decade. Ms. Taylor was fined $1,000 and given six months of probation and six months of varying driving restrictions. The sentence left some fuming about the value put on a life lost in a vehicle collision.
Toronto police couldn't prove Taylor was using her cellphone while she was driving and, despite testimony from two eyewitnesses who said Taylor was speeding, police concluded "no reliable evidence of speeding" existed. So, yeah. No one knows why Ms. Taylor's car ran onto that sidewalk or what she and her car were doing there—besides running over and killing Erica Stark. Taylor refused to take the stand, leaving Stark's family with "no explanation for how [her] vehicle could have left the road." And so long as we don't know why a driver killed a pedestrian with a car, killing someone with a car in Canada won't cost you more than $1,000.
And if the cops had been able to prove that Taylor was driving recklessly? The dead body under her car on that sidewalk not being proof of reckless driving all by itself? If the police had been able to prove Taylor was on her cell phone? Or speeding? The maximum fine then would be...
Adding insult to fatal injury:
Long-term data from the city show that drivers are responsible in the majority of pedestrian deaths. In spite of this, public-safety campaigns have tended to focus more on pedestrian behaviour. On Monday—coincidentally, at the same time as Ms. Taylor’s case was being heard—the police released a video urging those who walk to be more careful.