Road Safety Amendment: Operator Onus Bill
Written on the 29 November 2012
I am pleased to rise to contribute to the debate on the Road Safety Amendment (Operator Onus) Bill 2012. I am pleased too that the Minister for Roads, Mr Mulder, and the government have made a commitment to close the loophole that the bill addresses. It is a quite glaring loophole when you look at the detail of what has been occurring over a number of years, with a number of individuals, companies and others having been able to get around a very serious issue. As has been highlighted by a number of speakers, road safety is of paramount importance to all governments of all persuasions.
'This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of demerit point rorting', the police source said.'
Before that, an article in August 2011 highlights:
From those articles you can see what has been going on and that there has been a scam. The government and the Minister for Roads have identified that.
Some issues have arisen for Victoria Police, and it continues to introduce road safety measures. I note that the Victoria Police annual report for 2011-12, on which I spoke yesterday, includes reports on a number of initiatives and various operations. The report outlines the work of Operation REBUS, which was using intelligence to support road policing, and states:
A lot is being done in policing, and this legislation will back up the very good policing that is undertaken to ensure that our road safety measures are getting out there and that those people who are driving unlawfully are dealt with. The bill makes changes to further discourage companies from failing to identify their drivers if they are engaged in such unlawful behaviour. Those driving offences obviously include running lights and speeding. The bill closes the current loophole and will ensure that the person who last has possession or control of the vehicle may be liable for any offence and that there can be no transfer through the demerit system, as has been pointed out by other speakers.
I am pleased that members opposite are supporting the bill. As I said, governments of all persuasions have prioritised Victoria's safety by introducing road safety measures. This state can be very proud of the road safety initiatives it has taken over many years. As I said at the outset, the road toll is way too high. We need to do more work on that. This important bill further strengthens the protection of Victorians from those who should not be on the roads and those who have been rorting the system in the past. Now they will be scrutinised and dealt with accordingly.