Lawlessness on our roadways – the innocent are paying the price

It is rare to be on the road in the metro these days without witnessing someone driving aggressively, weaving in and out of lanes, passing others at 20 mph over the speed limit, blowing stop lights, etc.

It is also becoming a daily occurrence that one or more high speed chases occurs in our metro area involving either a car jacking suspect, a wanted fugitive, or just someone who decides to flee the police rather than pull over for a minor violation.

This weekend was particularly bad, and two innocent people died, and several remain hospitalized because of the lawless and dangerous actions of criminals behind the wheel.

Saturday evening in Brooklyn Center a man wanted for murder fled from Brooklyn Center police and crashed into a car occupied by a family of 5 killing a 6-year-old member of the family. The suspect had just been charged with a murder in Minneapolis from April and has a lengthy record including several robbery convictions.

The Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association also commented appropriately on the situation:

Sunday evening in St. Paul, a group driving a stolen vehicle crashed into a car occupied by an 87-year-old woman. She died of her injuries enroute to the hospital. The group in the stolen vehicle all fled on foot.

The lawlessness we are experiencing in our neighborhoods is also pervading our roadways. This is a particularly dangerous development, and one that will likely involve more innocent victims the longer it continues.

There are no quick fixes to this breakdown in lawful behavior on our roadways, but certainly a concerted effort by our court system to address it would make a big impact. Far too often a fleeing charge, when part of other crimes charged, gets dropped or sentenced as a concurrent penalty. Motor vehicle theft, reckless driving, and speeding are woefully addressed.

Swift and severe punishment for those who put us all in jeopardy on our roadways is our best hope. We deserve our court system to provide this hope.