It's always saddening to read about the death of a cyclist, especially when it's at the hands of incompetent driver. I think everyone in this forum would agree that many drivers shouldn't be anywhere near a road. But what does prison time have to do with cycling advocacy?
If a driver makes a stupid error, what purpose does jail time serve? Is it a deterrent to other drivers to avoid making the same mistake? I would argue that it doesn't. If prison was a deterrent, why does the prison population increase faster than the the overall population?
Is prison, then, for punitive justice? If that is the case, does it really serve our community? When the "criminal" is released, will they drive with more caution, or will they, more helpfully, advocate for safer driving? Or will they, in all likely hood, come out worse than they went in?
I believe cycling advocacy is not only about preventing tragedies in our cycling community, but helping all road users. By advocating for restorative justice instead of prison time, we show that education is our ultimate goal, not punishment. Teaching people, even those that have made the ultimate mistake, is far better for our community than punishing.
Edit: I used restitution when I meant restorative justice. Sorry