Petition: We must do more to hold drunk drivers accountable
Use the form at the bottom of the page to sign on to this petition. We will add your name to the letter when we deliver it to local leaders.
We, the undersigned, are writing to express our dismay at the recent weak sentence handed down in the prosecution of Ryne San Hamel, who struck and killed cyclist Bobby Cann in 2013 while driving drunk.
In exchange for a guilty plea, San Hamel was sentenced to only ten days in jail and four years of probation. This lenient sentence was issued despite clear evidence that San Hamel was breaking the law by driving drunk and speeding.
The message the outcome of this case sends is clear: drunk drivers can kill innocent people without fear of being held responsible.
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.
For every high-profile fatality on our roadways like the Bobby Cann case, there are dozens of additional victims whose names and faces don’t show up in the media. And typically, the motorist who recklessly killed them escapes with a slap on the wrist.
We must seek to address the underlying issues that lead to drunk and dangerous driving. That means looking at alternatives to incarceration such as community service, substance abuse treatment, suspension of driving privileges, and driver education.
We must ensure our law enforcement officers receive adequate training to respond to these crashes and know how to properly collect the evidence required to successfully prosecute these cases. Moreover, we must ensure that judges remain impartial despite personal opinions they may have about how people on bikes, on foot and in cars should share the roads.
We implore you to please do your part to support Chicago’s Vision Zero goal and eliminate preventable deaths on our roadways.