Dangerous drivers in Australia – as well as those who employ them – now face tough new penalties.
Anyone caught exceeding the speed limit by 25 km/h (15mph) or more, but less than 35 km/h (22mph), will lose their licence for three months. Previously, motorists caught speeding would lose their licence for one month.
In the UK, the fine is usually £60 and three points on the licence or a one day speed awareness course.
VicRoads Director of Road Access and User Vehicle Access, Roger Chao, said a recent research study revealed licence suspensions were the key to deterring higher level speeding offences; “The study examined how speeding drivers responded to various penalties including licence suspensions, demerit points, good behaviour bonds and vehicle impoundments.
“There was strong evidence that licence suspension for higher level speeding offences lowers the likelihood of repeat offences and these drivers being involved in a casualty crash.”
Transport accident commision Lead Director of Road Safety Samantha Cockfield said speed is one of the biggest factors causing death and serious injuries on Victorian roads. “The fact that speed continues to play a part in about one third of Victorian deaths and injuries shows there is still work to be done to get motorists to slow down,” Ms Cockfield said. “Tougher penalties, alongside enforcement and education, are proven to be the best approach to tackling speeding on Victorian roads.”
Other changes to come into effect on 1 November include increasing the maximum penalty for unlicensed driving to a $9,500 (£5,269) fine or six months in jail (currently $3,950 (£2190) or three months).
Driving without a licence in the UK is likely to get three or six points on the licence with a fine up to £1,000.
There’ll be one maximum penalty for driving while disqualified, regardless of whether it's a first or subsequent offence – $38,000 (£2100) fine or two year’s jail (currently a $4,700 (£2600) fine or four months for a first offence).
Here in the UK, driving while disqualified could get a community order or curfew, an order to pay court costs, a further extension of the original disqualification and 26 weeks in jail for persistent offenders.
Also, a person who knowingly allows an unlicensed driver to drive will face a maximum $9,500 fine or six months jail, and the penalty for employers who pay someone to drive while unlicensed will be a maximum $3,160 (£1,750) fine for individuals, or $15,800 (£8,760) for body corporates.