In memory of our son Vaughan, killed by a drunken driver on the 3rd March 2006.

I carry your heart
EE Cummings

I carry your heart with me
I carry it in my heart
I am never without it
Anywhere I go, you go, my dear
and whatever is done by only me is your doing.

I fear no fate, for you are my fate, my sweet
I want no world, for beautiful you are my world
You are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing – is you

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life,
which grows higher than the soul can hope
or mind can hide
And this is the wonder that keeping the stars apart!

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows …
I carry your heart – I carry it in my heart.

The sentence given to drunk driver, Wynand Maaren, who at 0,21g was 4 x over the legal limit when he killed Vaughan Fox (25), is absolutely disgraceful. Is a life only worth R10, 000? Funeral costs alone come to at least R7, 000 – and are not paid by the drunk driver.

Maaren would have had about 11 to 13 Units of Alcohol in his system when he had the crash, and was about 45 times more likely to have a crash than if he was driving sober.
Alcohol in these quantities causes double vision, tunnel vision, night blindness, gross delayed reaction times, and poor co-ordination. Drunk drivers are only able to focus on one task at a time, instead of the 5 to 6 tasks needed at once to stay safe on our roads.
Our Laws allow fines of R180, 000 for Culpable Homicide, and R120, 000 for being under the influence, plus Prison sentences of 9 yrs and 6 yrs for each count, plus losing your license for 6 months. Why was nothing like this given?

Maaren was only fined R6, 000 and R4, 000 = R10, 000 total, plus suspended Jail sentences of 1 year 9 months, and his license was suspended for 6 months.
Why was he not Jailed? Because he is sad and remorseful?

Drunk Driving is not an accident. It is a Choice.

What about the permanent pain and remorse the family feel at Vaughan’s birthday, Christmas, his Graduation where his sister had to accept his degree, the lack of his future, wedding, grandchildren, etc?

Overseas, drunk drivers automatically have a 6 month license suspension if they are caught being over the limit even without a crash occurring, and there is automatic jail time if someone is killed.

In SA, the accused have all the rights, and the innocent victim has none. This must change.

Magistrates in SA need to give the allowed prohibitive sentences to make people scared of driving drunk. This will save 1,000’s of lives and 10,000’s of 1,000’s of injuries, and save our economy R20 Billion and more each year.

Go onto the SADD website to Join SADD to make a difference and to learn to Drive Sober.

Caro Smit, Pietermaritzburg.

Letter to the Editor.

The Herald.
Fax 041 5854966
23rd April 07