Wet behind the years : Is White van man going international?
My fellow Roamans. Apologies for what Caligula posted earlier about the Canadian van driver intentionally swerving to splashing the pedestrians in Ottawa. Caligula is rather special and I see why he only lasted four years in the purple before the Praetorian’s dispatched him. The video has been seen by over 800,000 people now and majority of comments are negative to the driver.
While it is technically not a traffic offence in Ontario, the Police public posted that they could face a mischief charge.
Faced with public embarrassment of their company van being the offending splasher, the company fired the driver.
We apologize to everyone impacted by the recent incident in Ottawa of unacceptable driving by one of our van drivers….
Ottawa’s police later tweeted that firing was good enough for them and they wouldn’t take any further action
Update on the Van Splashing Incident. I would like to thank Black & MacDonald Ottawa Div. for their quick and decisive action in this matter. The driver of this van has been terminated from the company. I would also like to thank a patrol Officer who assisted in this outcome.
— Sgt Mark Gatien (@gatienmc) July 29, 2018
So what is the law for this? In Ottawa, we mentioned that there does not seem to be one. I looked for ones in the US and didn’t see any either. However, in Britain they do appear to have such a law. According the the Daily Express article “Drivers BEWARE – Splashing a pedestrian with your car can cost you £5,000” and claims it could potentially get you 9 penalty points as well. While Express can be a bit of drama queen in it’s stories, the offence would fall under the category of driving without reasonable consideration.
One thing that struck me when I watched the video: the color of the van. Did you notice it. It was White.
In Britainnia, “White van man” is a stereotype typically perceived as a selfish, inconsiderate driver who is often aggressive. Cambridge dictionary defines it as “a man who is thought to be typical of drivers of white vans by being rude, not well educated, and having very strong, often unpleasant opinions”. So it perhaps no surprise to see White man van is going international.
On a darker side of this, there is a potential problem to drivers swerving into water like this: loosing control of a vehicle. In 2007, Terri Perdew of Denison ,Texas killed a child by intentionally driving her car though water to splash local kids. From KTEN who covered the story:
There are new developments in the death of a 14-month-old boy, who was killed when he was hit by a car in Denison. KTEN’s Kristi Branam has the update.
14 Month-old Zachary Duncan was sitting on the street curb just before seven o’clock last night, when he was hit by a car. But, it was the car’s second trip up the street that caused the accident.
Denison Police Lt. Mike Eppler said, “Evidently, when the car went by, the car turned around, driver came back with the intention of splashing the children again.”
Except this time, the car hydroplaned and struck 14 month-old Zachary Duncan and his mother.
In 2008, Perdew was sentenced to 1 year with no parole.