A mother's plea: We need harsher penalties for reckless driving.

“You never imagine it will happen to you.”

Distressed mother Rylea Taylor never imagined she would be fearing for the lives of her children. Due to the negligence of others, however, that’s exactly the situation she found herself in. In a heart-wrenching petition on, Rylea has shared her story.

“You never imagine it will happen to you. You never think that someone’s stupidity could change your life forever – but it can.

On the 15th of September, three boys decided to do doughnuts and burn outs aside a bend in a NSW highway at 11am. Their stupidity cost my family more than you could image.

As my car came around the bend at around 100-110kms dust covered the road – the P Platers had released their brakes and drove straight out onto the highway. For a split second I saw dust and then the force hit. The collision was so hard that all airbags were deployed.

My 9 year old daughter was unconscious, my 16 month old son was screaming – both were bleeding from their tiny faces. As I kicked open the crushed door I was faced with the three irresponsible boys – still in school uniform – who had just broken my family.

As I pulled my son from the car I knew his neck was broken. As bystanders and my in-laws, who were travelling behind us, assisted getting my 9 year old from the car, I tried to remain calm. I tried desperately to hold my children, I told them we were okay. Even though my heart told me otherwise, I tried not to cry. I tried to be strong because they needed me.

Rylea’s children.

All the while these boys sat next to their car suffering nothing. In the country hospital we were transferred to I helped cut the clothing from my baby, the tiny little shorts and shirt I had dressed him in only hours before. The boys that hit us entered the hospital to be checked over and looked at their feet.

I screamed at them to look at my children, to see what they had done. They didn’t care. They didn’t look. Myself and my children were airlifted out on two flights and I am eternally grateful for the people that worked tirelessly to keep them alive. My daughter had fractured vertebrae and need 3.5 hours of surgery to fix the damage caused internally. My son had a broken C1 and C2, a broken collarbone and lacerations. He was intubated and sedated – medically kept sleeping for three days.

It took teams of specialist to put my children back together because three stupid, immature boys saw their licence as a right and not a privilege.

When contacted by police I was informed that the laws for reckless driving and causing grievous bodily harm carry different punishments from state to state, and that it is unlikely these boys will receive anything more than a suspended driving sentence and a fine. Every family is now at risk of their stupidity, they are not remorseful, they don’t even understand what they have done. The laws should be the same Australia wide, if you drive recklessly and destroy the life’s of other you should be punished, you don’t deserve to drive.

My children will have rehabilitation, physio appointments, scars and a life different to the one I hoped for them. I hoped they could play the sports they chose, they could jump on a trampoline, play together and run and be children – at no point ever will I have the joy of watching my children play without fearing that they will be hurt by their injuries caused to them by someone’s stupidity.

A suspended licence and fine changes nothing for the driver. Australia needs to deter others from ruining innocent people’s lives. One body to create harsher laws that reflect the suffering they have caused. Laws that are the same Australia wide, laws that hopefully, if they carry substantial punishments, might actually make people think twice before driving recklessly. It’s unfortunate that no matter how safe you are there is nothing you can do to control others but if someone has destroyed another person’s life, they don’t deserve a slap on the wrist and a right to a second chance – stand up, take their licence off them and punish them accordingly.”

If you’d like to sign Rylea’s petition, you can do so here.