Have your say on new sentencing laws for drivers
David Killick, a senior Mercury journalist with deep experience of reporting on the law, and an experienced rider with a lot of kilometres under his belt, has provided a very useful summary of the 138-page Sentencing Advisory Council consultation paper on Sentencing of Driving Offences that Result in Death or Injury.
Bicycle Network is preparing a submission to the Council that will propose a range of measures beyond what custodial sentences might be appropriate for drivers who kill or maim.
We will propose non-custodial measures such as:
- Much longer disqualifications.
- Extending vehicle confiscations.
- Bans on recidivist drivers owning any sort of vehicle.
- Mandatory medical checks for repeat offenders before they can regain their licence.
- Drug and alcohol random tests for repeat offenders.
- Tougher conditions on restricted licences.
- Driving training courses for repeat offenders.
- Being forced to face the injured victim and/or family of those killed.
- Use of emerging technologies to monitor recidivist drivers.
- Community service orders that directly assist victims and families.
Additionally and importantly, our view is that the courts should consider, as an aggravating factor in cases of serious driving offences, the vulnerability of the victim.
In short, the more vulnerable the victim (for example a cyclist or pedestrian), the greater the culpability of the car driver. This is in line with laws applicable in the Netherlands, for example, where a different shared understanding of responsibility to other road users has resulted in a much more positive environment for bike riders and pedestrians.
One particular aspect of the law we raised two years ago with the Tasmanian Attorney-General was codifying the term "vulnerable road user", as in Britain, some US states, and the ACT. It was also recommended in Queensland. The State Government already uses the term vulnerable road user in its road safety material.
It is a long report, and we recommend using this handy summary. This version of David Killick's summary contains boxes that you can enter your comments into, and you can then easily save these comments and turn them into a standard email.
PLEASE READ (AT LEAST) THE SUMMARY, AND THEN SUBMIT YOUR FEEDBACK TO THE SENTENCING ADVISORY COUNCIL.
You must send your response by the close of business on November 18.
Another link to a readable summary of the report.
Another link to the summary with boxes you can fill in: https://none-bdydo.formstack.com/forms/submissions
Any member needing assistance on a submission on these points, or ideas we should put forward, should contact Bicycle Network’s Tasmanian adviser Garry Bailey on 0475 817435 or [email protected]
Below are links to recent media reports that detailed our position when the Government released the discussion paper.