March 11, 2016Filed Under: Antonio's Blog

Auto Mechanics and Criminal Negligence

Auto Mechanics and Criminal Negligence

Mr. Ramono is an automobile mechanic in Ontario. In the summer of 2012 he certified a 17 year old truck as safe to drive on the road so that the truck’s ownership could be transferred. Mechanics do this every day in Ontario. It is routine – the vehicle is inspected and repaired if necessary.

About two months after Mr. Ramono certified the truck as safe, the truck was involved in a very serious accident. While trying to pass another vehicle, the driver of the truck lost control and collided head on with an oncoming car. The woman driving the car died.

Automobile mechanics working on a car engine to symbolize criminal negligence.
Photo by Ali Bin Dawood via CC BY-ND 2.0

The police investigated and found that the truck certified by Mr. Ramono had a major steering defect. If this defect was present at the time of Mr. Ramono’s inspection then it should not have been certified as safe. It should have been repaired.

The police charged Mr. Ramono with issuing a false document and with criminal negligence causing death. At the preliminary hearing the judge found that there was not sufficient evidence to proceed to trial against Mr. Ramono on the charge of criminal negligence and dismissed the charge. The crown appealed and won. Mr. Ramono, The Court of Appeal has decided, will have to face trial on a charge of criminal negligence.

This is the first time that I have ever heard of a mechanic being charged criminally for being negligent. But when I thought about it I guess that I wasn’t too surprised.

Automobiles can be extremely dangerous. They can and do kill – like what happened in this case. Every time you take your car to your mechanic to have the brakes changed, or the steering checked, you are placing enormous trust in your mechanic. If a mechanic is not careful, people can and will die. It’s not a responsibility to be taken lightly.

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