Serial driving offenders are putting the lives of people who ride bikes at risk
We need better checks and balances to stop people with repeated driving offences – like speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or other risky behaviour – putting everyone in harm’s way.
- People with a history of poor driving behaviour and offences consistently cause crashes with serious and often deadly consequences.
- The current demerit point system allows serial driving offenders to repeatedly lose their licence and have it reinstated. This has to stop.
- Victorian drivers can get up to 12 demerit points before their licence is suspended. However, they can also run the gauntlet and elect to extend their demerit period and keep driving. If they do gamble their licence but go on to gain more points the initial suspension is automatically doubled and then must be served.
It’s shocking and disturbing that there are drivers who have been repetitively convicted of speeding, disobeying traffic signals, driving while unlicenced and using a phone while behind the wheel out on our roads.
Serial driving offenders are a disaster waiting to happen and unfortunately the outcomes are all too real for the families who are tragically and unnecessarily robbed of a loved one.
Overhaul driver licencing laws for serial driving offenders.
Bicycle Network is calling for an overhaul of driver licence laws including stricter surveillance, education and tougher licencing laws for those who have a proven record of flouting the road rules.
Specifically, Bicycle Network is calling for the following:
The installation of GPS tracking technology in the vehicles of driving offenders that sends out an alert if a driver is speeding or driving erratically, much like interlocks. Such technology has been developed internationally for truck drivers and could easily be adapted for any vehicle.
Like a drink driver can be ordered to participate in education courses, drivers who risk others in different ways such as speeding, mobile phone use and disobeying signals should be sent for counselling.
If you have shown that you have an inability to drive safely you must undergo specific driver training.
Ongoing assessment of the driver’s progress while under the supervision program.
Technology in cars that can override driver actions and human error that can be brought in include:
- Lane support systems – technology that can ensure cars don’t drift into bike lanes or road shoulders
- Autonomous Emergency Braking Systems (EBS) that can reduce impact speeds and allow greater time for avoidance manoeuvres.
- Attention assist and fatigue detection and alert systems
Licencing authorities need to consider the current demerit point system. This not-so merry-go-round is putting vulnerable road users in harms way:
- Victorian drivers start with a balance of zero demerit points. If they attain 12 points in a three-year period, they can be suspended for three months. A further one-month suspension is added for every four additional demerit points gained.
- Drivers can however elect to extend their demerit period at this point and keep driving. If any more points are gained the initial suspension is automatically doubled and must be served.
For example: Driver gains 12 demerit points between October 2013 and October 2016, but extends their demerit period. In November 2016, they fail to give way and gain three more demerit points. They are now automatically suspended for six months until May 2017.
After serving their suspension their licence is returned in May 2017 with zero demerit points – a clean slate.
They could now re-offend straight away and gain 12 demerit points, not elect to extend their demerit period, be suspended until August 2017 and then once again be free to drive unrestricted.
A drivers licence is a responsibility and a privilege, and if you abuse it, it shouldn’t just be handed back to you on a promise you won’t do it again – especially if you continually break the law and show no remorse.
Here’s three easy ways you can help get serial driving offenders off our roads:
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