“Court decision could have implications”

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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A BAD PRECEDENT: A concerned member of the community, Rudy Bartley questions the message the Court ruling sends out to boy racers.

A BAD PRECEDENT: A concerned member of the community, Rudy Bartley questions the message the Court ruling sends out to boy racers.

A concerned member of the community, Rudy Bartley, has raised concerns at a District Court decision which freed two men of reckless driving charges.

The decision by District Court Judge Alalatoa Rosella Viane recently discharged Orlando Keil and Scott Levi without conviction, in relation to reckless driving charges laid against them. 

Mr. Bartley told the Samoa Observer that he was shocked and disappointed with the ruling by the Court. 

“I’m shocked, disappointed and very concerned in terms of what message does this ruling give to other people who are doing this thing. What message does this ruling give – to me it’s not a good message,” he said. 

Mr. Bartley said while the Judge had already made a ruling on the matter, he said as a concerned member of the community, he is questioning the message that the ruling sends out to boy racers.

“I am just worried about the consequences and the precedence. What will this tell the other boy racers? To me personally, this will tell them that they have a license to do it just as long as you have some sort of reason to do it then that’s okay, which unfortunately to me this is not right.”

Mr. Bartley said he was hoping that the Court’s ruling on the matter will set a good precedence. 

“What precedence that’s been set right now. When the matter came up earlier this year, the Prime Minister on his weekly programme, said publicly that this is not acceptable especially on public roads because it’s endangering the public safety and they we’re doing it on public road."

“Even the Police Commissioner said this sort of thing was not acceptable and now the ruling for this matter is out. I mean to me personally, it’s okay if they had built their own roads and do what they do in front of their own homes, then that’s okay they can do whatever in their own compound that’s okay,” he added.

The Court’s decision could have implications for road users going forward, as Mr. Bartley said he fears boy racers will return to the roads. 

“I have a feeling this weekend will not be as quiet as last weekends and the last couple of months because for sure some of them will think that it’s okay now because of the outcome of this,” he said. 

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