In the wake of a 10-day sentence for the drunk driver who fatally stuck cyclist Bobby Cann, Chicago’s most prominent cycling advocacy group is calling for greater accountability against motorists who drive while intoxicated.
“The message the outcome of this case sends is clear: drunk drivers can kill innocent people without fear of being held responsible,” the petition said. “This is unacceptable.”
“We are calling upon Chicago’s law enforcement and judicial leaders to start taking preventable fatalities on our roadways seriously. The City of Chicago has a ‘Vision Zero’ goal to eliminate all traffic fatalities by 2026. Law enforcement and judicial leaders must be active participants in supporting the city’s ‘Vision Zero’ goal. Unfortunately, this lack of accountability among drunk reckless drivers for their actions is all too familiar.”
Active Transportation Alliance argues that the lenient sentence for the driver in this case was a result of a possible lack of impartiality by the judge in the case, both in terms of his views on cyclists and the driver’s background. The driver, who comes from a wealthy suburb and from a family that is politically connected, was represented by a high-profile defense attorney.
“Restorative justice is an important part of the message,” said ATA’s Advocacy Director Jim Merrell. “Accountability doesn’t just mean locking people up and throwing away the key. Looking at alternatives to incarceration such as community service, substance abuse treatment, suspension of driving privileges, and driver education.”