Case tests new careless driv­ing law

The London Free Press - - REGION -

STRAT­FORD — On­tario’s new careless driv­ing laws could be un­der the spot­light in a Strat­ford court­room af­ter a lo­cal woman was fa­tally in­jured while out for a walk in the city with her hus­band.

Two pedes­tri­ans were struck by a motorist on Sept. 16 in Strat­ford, po­lice said. One of them, Lor­raine Rid­gen, 57, of Strat­ford, died on Oct. 3.

Ian MacArthur has been charged with careless driv­ing caus­ing bod­ily harm or death un­der the High­way Traf­fic Act. He is to ap­pear in court Tues­day.

The two pedes­tri­ans were hit by a Nis­san Pathfinder turn­ing left on to Huron Street from John Street about 8:15 p.m. The other pedes­trian, the woman’s hus­band, was taken to hos­pi­tal with in­juries and later re­leased.

A fam­ily spokesper­son said Fri­day 59-year-old Peter Rid­gen is “pretty OK,” but the fam­ily is still “griev­ing and up­set.”

The driver “was very dis­traught,” po­lice said at the time.

On Sept. 1 — about two weeks be­fore the in­ci­dent — On­tario in­tro­duced what it termed “tougher penal­ties for careless driv­ing and en­dan­ger­ing pedes­tri­ans.” The prov­ince said drivers con­victed of careless driv­ing caus­ing bod­ily harm or death could face fines from $2,000 to $50,000, six de­merit points, a driver’s li­cence sus­pen­sion of up to five years, and as long as two years in jail.

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