Councillor criticizes sentence given to Ed Drover, who pushed two city employees with his vehicle
A St. John’s councillor says roadwork crews need better protection from the justice system.
© — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram
St. John’s Coun. Bernard Davis speaks Monday at the weekly public council meeting.
At the city’s regular council meeting Monday night, Ward 4 Coun. Bernard Davis criticized the sentence given Ed Drover for hitting two city employees with his Range Rover 3 1/2 years ago.
Drover pleaded guilty in court to pushing two city workers with his vehicle when they tried to prevent him from entering a section of Rawlins Cross where roadwork was being done.
Both of the workers were sent to the hospital, and one has suffered knee problems requiring physiotherapy that continues today.
Davis said the sentence — an absolute discharge with a victim surcharge of $1,500, for pleading guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle — was not enough.
“I believe we need to strengthen our legislation for the road crews to protect both the road crews and safety flagpersons,” said Davis. “And they need better protection in the law, and there must be greater sanctions to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Davis suggested the city send a letter to the provincial ministers of Justice and Service NL to press for “more robust legislation” to protect road crews.
Referred to solicitor
Mayor Dennis O’Keefe suggested the matter be referred to the city solicitor first, and Davis agreed.
After the meeting, Davis said city workers need to be able to work without risking being hit by vehicles — and drivers who do hit road crews need to be given the “highest possible penalty.”
“I think we can go a little stronger than that. City employees are worth more than $750,” he said. “That’s essentially what was said.”
Davis declined to say just how strong a penalty he thought Drover should have been given, but noted three other charges were dropped — failing to stop at the scene of an accident, and two counts of assault with a weapon — and said that at the very least, Drover should have lost his driver’s licence.