Editorial: Civil forfeiture muddies message

It is not OK to endanger the lives of innocent people but the punishment must fit the crime.

A message needs to be sent that it is not OK to drive so dangerously that you create a very real risk to the lives of innocent people. And it’s morally indefensible to celebrate such an act of stupidity by posting a video of it to the Internet.

But the punishment must fit the crime.

We can all agree that the motorcyclist who on April 6 video-recorded himself or herself travelling at speeds of 300 km/h down a busy highway showed the judgement of a moron.

However, no matter how emphatic that point needs to be made, confiscating the bike and selling it to raise revenue for the government is the wrong thing to do in this case.

Unable to arrest the young man suspected of riding the bike in the video, the police have turned to the Civil Forfeiture Act to try and punish the perpetrator and, perhaps, turn the incident into a teachable moment. Don’t try this at home or we’ll take your wheels – a similar campaign has been waged against the dangers of street racing in recent years.

The difference is that the public has not heard enough evidence to merit having the police take away the personal property of an Esquimalt mom (her son is believed to be the rider in the video).

Police have every right to seize the bike in case it can be used to actually press charges.

Dangerous driving is a serious offence punishable by jail time. If that can’t be proved unless the rider confesses, we understand why police would want to send a message that you can’t commit such a high-profile crime and get away scot-free.

But rather than attempting civil forfeiture, which is more justly applied to the proceeds of criminal activity, the police could better serve their public by ensuring this rider, and other potential daredevils, learn about the very real consequences of very bad decisions.

Driving at speeds shown in the video create a probability of massive injuries and possibly death to the rider, as well the dozens of innocent people sharing the road. That is the message that must be imparted.

After all, the goal is to keep young drivers from taking exceptional risks not merely to keep them from posting to YouTube after they do.

Just Posted

School strike: SD63 says grade 12 students ‘will not lose their graduation year’

Parents, students concerned about educational impact of CUPE 441 strike

Bright red salmon appear at Saanich’s Colquitz River fish fence

Local preschool group looks on in delight while volunteers work

Cineplex to show free holiday movies to support Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Community Day will be on Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m at select theatres

Parents plan second rally as CUPE 441 strike in SD63 stretches into third week

Parents have written to the provincial government asking them to step in

Monster Truck Chaos comes to Victoria, tickets on sale Friday

Monster Truck Chaos rumbles into Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre Jan. 25 and 26

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

Woman airlifted with serious injuries after being struck by car in Nanaimo

Woman, hit in crosswalk, suffers life-threatening injuries; driver co-operating with police

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

Most Read