Man disputes penalty for speeding pregnant wife to hospital
CTV News.ca Staff
Published Tuesday, July 19, 2011 9:11PM EDT
Facing the impending loss of his driver's license, a Manitoba father is contesting the penalties incurred while speeding his pregnant wife to hospital for an emergency C-section.
David Weber incurred a speeding ticket on March 21 that came with an automatic license suspension, which is due to take effect Saturday.
The 32-year-old says he's fighting the suspension because he needs to drive to work. He lives with his wife, Genevieve, and their two children in a rural area near the town of MacGregor, east of Brandon.
On that day four months ago, the couple was driving on a highway near Portage-la-Prairie when Genevieve went into labour.
"My mind was saying, ‘let's get to the Brandon hospital as fast as possible,'" David recalls.
The baby was coming earlier than expected. But Genevieve had experienced complications during the birth of the couple's first child, 3-year-old Madison. Genevieve had been told by her doctor that a natural birth could put both her and the baby in danger, so she would need an emergency C-section.
Then David was pulled over for speeding by the RCMP, who told him to slow down and offered him a police escort to the nearest hospital, in nearby Portage-la-Prarie. He declined the offer and rushed off toward the city of Brandon, where the couple felt Genevieve would "be taken care of."
David was eventually pulled over a second time and officers arranged to take Genevieve to hospital by ambulance, which the couple says took 25 minutes to arrive.
"Is this actually happening?" Genevieve remembers thinking. "We told them the severity of the situation. It's not like I'm just a regular labour-and-delivery. I'm high-risk. It's not like I can go to any hospital."
Thankfully Genevieve made it to hospital in Brandon and there were no problems during the birth. The couple's second daughter, Anabela, was born in good health.
But three weeks later David received a $1,000 speeding ticket, which came with a five-month license suspension because he had been caught driving more than 50 km/h above the posted speed limit.
The ticket was later reduced to $416 by a justice of the peace, but David's license is still due to be suspended.
David said he plans to appeal the suspension, arguing that it was an emergency.
The province's public insurance provider says the speed at which he was driving put lives in danger, regardless of the situation.
With a report from CTV Winnipeg's Josh Crabb