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Research Notes on the Road Safety Amendment Bill 2014

Introduction

The Napthine Government introduced the Road Safety Amendment Bill 2014 ('the Bill') on 27 May 2014. The Bill makes several amendments to the Road Safety Act 1986, including proposed provisions to:

§ expand the alcohol interlock program to include every first offender for drink driving who has a probationary license or learner permit, other drivers with a BAC of 0.07 to 0.15, drivers with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.07 whose licences are cancelled, all repeat offenders with a BAC under 0.07 and serious alcohol-related vehicle offences under the Sentencing Act 1991 including first offences;

§ create a new offence for driving under the combined influence of alcohol and illicit drugs;

§ expand the vehicle impoundment scheme to cover certain first offences involving drink-driving or the new combined drink and drug driving offences;

§ extend the zero BAC limit to motorcycle riders from 1 year to 3 years (for riders who already hold a car driver's licence) to facilitate the introduction of stage 1 of a new motorcycle graduated licensing system; and

§ enable police to recover the costs of vehicle removal (where the vehicle is illegally parked, or causing an obstruction, traffic hazard or congestion) from the registered operator of the vehicle.

The Bill also amends the Rail Management Act 1996to extend access arrangements for transport service providers beyond their current expiry date of May 2015.[footnote 1] In addition, it amends the Accident Compensation Act 1985, Transport Accident Act 1986and Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013to provide that a person who commits the new combined drink and drug driving offence will face the same loss of entitlements under the current transport and work-related injury compensation legislation as someone convicted of a drink driving or drug driving offence.

Road Safety in Victoria

Victoria has been a leader in road safety, both nationally and internationally. In 1970, Victoria was the first jurisdiction in the world to make the wearing of seatbelts compulsory.[footnote 2] In Australia, Victoria was the first state to legislate random breath testing in 1976 and introduce speed cameras in 1986.[footnote 3] Victoria was also the first in Australia and internationally to make the wearing of bicycle helmets compulsory in 1990.[footnote 4] These and other road safety measures, such as the introduction of 50km/h speed limits for residential areas and 40km/h speed limits for school zones and shopping strips in 2001–02, and random drug testing in 2006, improved infrastructure and community education, have contributed to reducing the number of deaths on Victorian roads from 1,061 in 1970 to 242 in 2013.[footnote 5] Figure 1 shows the Victoria road toll from 1952 to 2012, highlighting the introduction of various road safety initiatives during this time period.

Figure 1. Victorian Road Toll and Road Safety Enforcement Initiatives

Source: Cameras Save Lives[footnote 6]

The Victorian road toll of 242 in 2013 was the lowest since 1924.[footnote 7] See Figure 2 for the Victorian road toll over the past six years.

Figure 2. Victorian Road Toll, Yearly Totals for the Past Six Years

Year

Road Toll

2013

242

2012

282

2011

287

2010

288

2009

290

2008

303

Average

282

Source: Road Safety Victoria[footnote 8]

While road fatalities have reduced significantly, there has not been as great a reduction in the number of serious injuries. In Victoria the number of serious injuries has almost halved since 1987, when 10,000 people were injured in crashes, however 5,500 people are still seriously injured every year with injuries ranging from a broken arm to brain damage and quadriplegia (see Figure 3). According to Road Safety Victoria, 'serious injury costs Victoria $2.4 billion a year'.[footnote 9]

Figure 3. Victorian Annual Serious Injuries – 1987 to 2011

Source: VicRoads Road Crash Information System, cited in VicRoads submission to Road Safety Committee Inquiry into Serious Injury.[footnote 10]

Note: Paper-based police reporting of crashes using the Victoria Police 510 form operated until 2005, when the Traffic Incident System (TIS) was implemented. This change of reporting is believed to have affected data consistency and quality.[footnote 11]

Drink driving is responsible for 25 to 30 per cent of driver and rider deaths and 11 per cent of serious injuries on Victorian roads.[footnote 12] Illicit drugs are a factor in approximately 20 per cent of all driver fatalities.[footnote 13] Through the Road Safety Strategy 2013-2022, the Napthine Government has committed to reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on Victorian roads by 30 per cent over the next ten years.[footnote 14]

Alcohol Interlocks

Alcohol Interlocks—Background

§ California was the first state in the world to trial alcohol interlocks in 1986.[footnote 15] Two years later, Victoria's Parliamentary Social Development Committee completed an Inquiry into Alcohol Abuse and Road Safety, recommending a trial of interlock devices in Victoria. The Committee recommended these interlocks be trialled for previously convicted drink drivers with a BAC over 0.20, and evaluated with regard to the contribution of alcohol interlocks on recidivism and accident involvement by repeat drink drivers, as well as the effect on their drinking behaviour.[footnote 16]

§ The introduction of alcohol ignition interlocks was a 1999 Coalition Election Policy by the Kennett Government, targeted at repeat offenders.[footnote 17] Following the Coalition's election loss, legislation for the introduction of alcohol interlocks did not proceed immediately.

§ In November 2000, the Australian Transport Council launched the National Road Safety Strategy 2001-2010 and National Road Safety Action Plan for 2001 and 2002.[footnote 18] The Action Plan suggested alcohol interlocks as one measure which may improve road user behaviour.[footnote 19] The Australian Transport Council consisted of all federal, state and territory transport ministers and aimed to reduce road fatalities over ten years through a range of road safety initiatives, and has since been replaced by the Transport and Infrastructure Council.

§ In June 2001, then Transport Minister Peter Batchelor launched a discussion paper on alcohol ignition interlocks in Victoria, followed by several forums to gather community feedback.[footnote 20]

§ In November 2001, the Bracks Government introduced alcohol ignition interlocks under a Bill which became the Road Safety (Alcohol Interlocks) Act 2002. Under this legislation, interlocks were introduced for repeat drink-drivers and first offenders who had a BAC of 0.15 or more. Then Minister for Transport Peter Batchelor stated 'this bill is about recognising that whilst the traditional legal mechanisms of punishment and deterrence have done much, they can only go so far in reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by drink-drivers. We need other tools, ones oriented towards rehabilitation and harm minimisation. This Bill is not about punishment but harm minimisation and rehabilitation.'[footnote 21]

§ Under the Road Legislation (Projects and Road Safety) Act 2006, the Bracks Government expanded the use of alcohol interlocks, including mandatory alcohol interlocks for probationary drivers and drivers under 26 years who have a BAC of 0.07 or more on a first offence.

§ In September 2012, the Baillieu Government conducted a road safety survey through the Herald Sun and the Road Safety website, asking for views on various proposed road safety measures.[footnote 22] More than 16,000 people completed the survey.[footnote 23] The Herald Sun reported that '83 per cent of respondents favoured an increase in the use of interlocks'.[footnote 24] The Baillieu Government cited this response as support for expanding the use of alcohol interlocks for drink drivers in their Road Safety Action Plan 2013-2016.[footnote 25]

§ In Victoria's Road Safety Action Plan 2013-16, the Baillieu Government committed to expanding the current alcohol interlock program from applying only to BAC of 0.15 or higher and repeat drink drivers, to applying to all convicted drink drivers, including first offences and low-level offences.[footnote 26] The Government stated further that they expect in the future, all new vehicles will be fitted with alcohol interlocks. The Road Safety Strategy 2013-2016 also cited research which suggests that 'if alcohol interlocks were a standard feature in all Victorian cars, approximately 50 lives and 500 serious injuries would be saved each year'.[footnote 27]

§ In his second reading speech, Minister for Roads Terry Mulder stated that 'research shows interlocks reduce repeat offending by around 60 per cent when offenders are required to use them'. Studies have suggested a reduction in recidivism of between 50 and 90 per cent while the interlock is fitted on the vehicle, with an average reduction of 64 per cent.[footnote 28]

§ Since alcohol interlocks were introduced in 2002, more than 35,000 interlocks have been installed in Victoria, preventing people from driving while under the influence of alcohol more than a quarter of a million times.[footnote 29]

Alcohol Interlocks—Issues

Issues which have been the source of debate surrounding alcohol interlocks include circumvention, cost, administration and inter-state mobility.

Circumvention

The potential for drivers to attempt to circumvent alcohol interlock devices has been debated in the past, yet developments in technology have made alcohol interlocks increasingly difficult to tamper with or circumvent. Data recorders in interlock devices can record attempts to disengage or bypass the interlock, and a driver's log is recorded to keep track of driving habits so that any decrease in driving will be noted (eg. if the driver uses another vehicle). [footnote 30] A camera will also be part of the new interlocks, which will take photographic evidence of who has given the breath sample.[footnote 31]

Cost

The interlock system works on a user-pays basis, with offenders bearing the cost of installation, maintenance and removal of their interlock device, along with other costs such as monthly fee of $40 for the establishment and operation of the interlock program. Concessions will be available to certain card holders.[footnote 32] The cost for low-income earners has been debated, particularly in jurisdictions such as South Australia, the United States and Canada where the interlock program has been voluntary and uptake has been low.[footnote 33] However, in Victoria, where the interlock system is currently mandatory for certain offenders and is being extended to all drink drivers, community sentiment as expressed via the media has not been overly sympathetic towards drink drivers. There has been little opposition in recent media to the proposal for drink drivers to pay for their interlock device, rather the emphasis has been on alcohol interlocks as an appropriate measure in the interests of community safety.[footnote 34]

Administration

There has been debate in the past over whether administration of interlock programs would be best done through the courts or a government body such as a driver licensing authority.[footnote 35] As Stage 1 of the expanded interlock program in Victoria is predicted to almost double the number of interlocks installed from 5,400 to 10,700 per year, the issue has been raised regarding how the courts will manage this increase.[footnote 36] To address this issue, Minister Mulder stated that VicRoads will establish a new administrative process designed to manage cases involving first time drink driving offenders with a BAC of less than 0.10. Minister Mulder stated that 'this is expected to reduce offences managed by courts by up to 1,600 to 2,000 per year'.[footnote 37]

Inter-state Mobility

As alcohol interlock laws vary between jurisdictions in Australia, commentators have called for clear reciprocal arrangements to be developed regarding servicing of interlocks and licensing requirements for drivers travelling or moving interstate.[footnote 38]

Alcohol Interlocks—Current Situation

Under the Road Safety Act 1986, interlocks are currently mandatory for –

§ All offenders with a BAC of 0.15 or more;

§ Most repeat offences;

§ First offences by young drivers (under 26 years or on a probationary license) with a BAC of 0.07 or more;

§ Refusing a breath test or driving under the influence of alcohol; and

§ Other serious offences under the Sentencing Act 1991 (eg. culpable driving involving alcohol).[footnote 39]

Other offenders may also be required to have an alcohol interlock fitted at a Magistrate's discretion.[footnote 40]

Currently interlocks are fitted to vehicles for time periods which range from six months for a first offence to four years or more for serious or repeat offences. At the end of fitment period, offenders must return to court to have the interlock condition removed.[footnote 41]

Alcohol Interlocks—What the Bill Proposes

According to the Second Reading speech, the Napthine Government aims to expand the use of alcohol interlocks to every convicted drink driver. To do this, the Government has set in motion a two-stage process. This Bill deals with Stage 1, which makes interlocks mandatory for:

§ Every first offender on a probationary licence or learner permit;

§ Other drivers who have a BAC between 0.07 and 0.15;

§ Drivers with BAC under 0.07 whose licences are cancelled (including professional drivers of buses and taxis) and first year motor cycle riders who are subject to a zero BAC limit;

§ All repeat offenders with a BAC under 0.07; and

§ Serious alcohol-related vehicle offences under the Sentencing Act 1991, including first offences.[footnote 42]

Licence cancellation will become mandatory for learner and probationary drivers with a first offence below 0.07 BAC and all repeat offenders with below 0.07 BAC. The Minister stated that 'The minimum licence cancellation for a first offence under 0.05 BAC will be 3 months.'[footnote 43]

The minimum interlock period for first offences will be six months, in line with current provisions. Also consistent with current provisions, relicensed drivers with an interlock condition on their licence will also have zero BAC licence condition, lasting a minimum of three years.

Stage 1 of the expanded use of alcohol interlocks will commence on 1 October 2014. This expansion of the interlock program to first offences and low-level BAC offences is predicted to almost double the number of drivers with interlocks, from 5,400 to 10,700 per year.[footnote 44]

The Minister for Roads stated that in order to avoid overloading the courts system with these additional cases, VicRoads will establish a new administrative process designed to manage cases involving first time drink driving offenders with a BAC of less than 0.10. The Minister stated that 'this is expected to reduce offences managed by courts by up to 1,600 to 2,000 per year'.[footnote 45]

Interlocks will not be removed until the mandatory minimum period has elapsed and the offender can demonstrate that they have 'successfully separated drinking from driving'.[footnote 46] Assessment will include data from the interlock device such as breath test readings, confirmation of driving with the interlock fitted and any evidence of tampering. Interlocks which can take photos will become mandatory, to assist VicRoads, the courts and offenders in establishing who has given the breath sample.

Offenders will pay interlock suppliers for the installation, maintenance and removal of their interlock devices. Concessions are currently available to health-care card holders, but supporting regulations will extend this concession to holders of pensioner concession cards or Department of Veterans' Affairs gold cards.

The Minister for Roads also stated that supporting regulations would include a cost recovery fee of $40 per month for the establishment and operation of the expanded alcohol interlock program which offenders will have to pay. A 50 per cent concession is proposed for the card holders mentioned previously.

VicRoads will be tasked with monitoring alcohol interlock fitment rates to ensure compliance remains high and identifying improvements if fitment declines.[footnote 47]

Stage 2 of the alcohol interlock expansion will make interlocks mandatory for all remaining drink-drivers not captured by stage 1 (i.e. drink-drivers with a BAC under 0.07 who are not subject to mandatory licence cancellation). Minister Mulder stated a Bill enacting Stage 2 would be drawn up after further work had been done on how best to manage this group.[footnote 48] It is expected that this Stage 2 legislation will be progressed in 2016, and will increase the number of drivers and riders required to have alcohol interlocks fitted from 10,700 to around 13,300 per year.[footnote 49]


New Offence for Drink-Drug Driving

Drink-Drug Driving—Background Issues

§ Victoria was the first state to legislate random breath testing in 1976.[footnote 50] Random drug testing was introduced in Victoria in 2006.[footnote 51]

§ Minister for Roads Terry Mulder stated there was evidence to suggest that driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs was increasingly a factor involved in road trauma.[footnote 52]

§ According to a report by the Australian Drug Foundation and Vic Department of Health, 'Polydrug combinations are often detected in drivers involved in accidents. Results of studies indicate, on the whole, that impairment in driving performance increases when drivers combine alcohol with other drugs or use multiple drugs simultaneously'.[footnote 53]

§ Data from the Victorian Coroners Court on drivers and riders killed with alcohol in their system over a four year period from 2008 to 2011 showed 8 per cent also had at least one illicit drug present.[footnote 54]

§ Minister Mulder stated that 'Research indicates that when drivers combine alcohol and illicit drugs they are on average 23 times more likely to be killed in a crash compared with drivers who are drug and alcohol free.' Research such as a study undertaken by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health in 2013 suggests that relative to drivers who did not test positive to either alcohol or drugs, the risk of being involved in a fatal crash increases 23 times for those who test positive to both alcohol and drugs.[footnote 55] This study also suggests that drivers under the influence of a combination of alcohol and drugs are more likely to be involved in a crash than drivers under the influence of alcohol alone.[footnote 56]

§ The Baillieu Government sought community views on drink and drug driving offences through a survey published in the Herald Sun and online via the Road Safety website in September 2012. Of the more than 16,000 respondents, 88 per cent wanted more random drug testing for drivers and 86 per cent wanted increased penalties for drug driving.[footnote 57]

Drink-Drug Driving—What the Bill Proposes

Currently, there are separate charges for drink-driving and drug-driving offences. This Bill creates a new combined drink and drug driving charge, with the penalties reflecting 'the seriousness of offending behaviour'.[footnote 58]

The new offence will apply to drivers or riders who have a BAC at an illegal level and one or more of three prescribed illicit drugs in their systems—speed, ecstasy or cannabis—as detected through the enforcement methods currently used, including breath, saliva and blood tests.[footnote 59] For a first offence, the maximum fine will be 30 penalty units ($4330), and repeat offenders will face maximum fines from $12,002 to $38,997.[footnote 60] These maximum fines for the combined drink-drug driving offence will be 50 per cent higher than the maximum fine for drink-driving alone and at least 50 per cent higher than the maximum for drug driving alone.[footnote 61]

There will be a mandatory minimum 12 month licence cancellation, with longer periods applying for higher BAC levels and repeat offences. Immediate vehicle impoundment will also apply. Combined offenders will also face the same loss of accident compensation entitlements that drink-driving and drug-driving offenders currently face. These penalties are due to come into effect from mid-2015.


New Motorcycle Graduated Licensing System

Motorcycle GLS—Background

§ The current graduated licensing system (GLS) for car drivers was introduced in Victoria in 2007-8.[footnote 62] The GLS is a four year, two-stage probationary licence system which includes requirements such as 120 hours of driving experience for learner drivers under 21 years.[footnote 63]

§ In 2010, then Roads Minister Tim Pallas released a discussion paper on options for a new graduated licensing system for motorcyclists.[footnote 64] Minister Pallas stated that motorcyclists were among the most vulnerable road users, 'with novice riders being particularly at risk' and the existing graduated licensing system needed to be updated 'to meet the road safety needs of today's riders'.[footnote 65] The discussion paper included four broad categories: type and duration of phases, test requirements, training and skill development and restrictions/sanctions on novice riders.

§ The discussion paper cited a European study of motorcycle crashes in France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Italy which found that the risk of being involved in a crash on a motorcycle while under the influence of alcohol was '2.7 times greater than the risk when sober'.[footnote 66] The discussion paper further stated that 'this result, coupled with the finding that the effects of alcohol consumption on motorcycle riding are more dramatic than on car driving (due to the role of coordination and balance in riding),[footnote 67] confirms the value of a zero BAC for novice riders'.[footnote 68] The discussion paper suggested extending the intermediate phase of motorcycle licensing (i.e. the novice rider restrictions such as BAC of zero from one to three years).[footnote 69]

§ Some stakeholders such as the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries motorcycle manager Rhys Griffiths were critical of the new motorcycle GLS proposed in the 2010 discussion paper. Mr Griffiths stated that 'While we're pleased the Government is looking to adopt world's-best practice, we are concerned that there are so many restrictions and hurdles to obtaining a full motorcycle licence that the process itself may in fact be a barrier to licensing and therefore putting the motorcycle industry as a whole at a disadvantage'.[footnote 70] Mr Griffiths also expressed concern about the proposal to make learner riders wear high-visibility vests or jackets, stating that 'it looks like a defacto way of introducing mandatory protective clothing regulations'.[footnote 71]

§ The Victorian Parliamentary Road Safety Committee conducted an Inquiry into Motorcycle Safety, releasing its report in December 2012. The Committee report made 64 recommendations covering data quality and accuracy, the accredited provider scheme, off-road riding and motorcycle safety, attitudes, the Motorcycle Safety Levy, working with non-government stakeholders, countermeasures, and new initiatives.

§ Minister for Roads Terry Mulder stated in his second reading speech on the Bill 'We've had great results with the GLS reducing road trauma among new car drivers and we want to extend these safety outcomes to motorcyclists as well'.[footnote 72]

§ Following the introduction of the Road Safety Amendment Bill 2014 to Parliament, the Independent Riders Group has expressed its opposition to the proposed requirement for learners and restricted riders to have their headlights on at all times and for learners to wear high-visibility vests, viewing these requirements as excessive.[footnote 73]

Motorcycle Safety Statistics

Of the 242 people killed on Victoria's roads in 2013, 40 were riders and passengers of motorcycles, representing 17 per cent of the 2013 road toll.[footnote 74] Motor cycles make up 3.86 per cent of registered vehicles in Victoria as at 31 January 2013.[footnote 75] Figures 4 and 5 show the 2013 Road Toll in Victoria by road user. Figures 6 and 7 show the number of registered vehicles in Victoria by motor vehicle type in 2013. Figure 8 shows Victorian motorcyclist fatalities by area of Victoria (i.e. Melbourne, country and totals) from 1987 to 2013. Figure 9 shows motorcyclist claims involving acute hospitalisation in Victoria by area from December 2000 to December 2012.

Figure 4. 2013 Victorian Road Toll by Road User

Road User

2013 Road Toll

Bicyclist

6

Driver

121

Motorcyclist

40

Passenger

39

Pedestrian

36

Total

242

Source: TAC[footnote 76]

Figure 5. 2013 Victorian Road Toll by Road User

Source: Chart generated from data in Figure 4[footnote 77]

Figure 6. Registered Vehicles in Victoria (as at 31 January 2013)

Motor Vehicle Type

Number

Passenger Vehicles

3,446,548

Campervans

11,918

Light Commercial Vehicles

596,530

Light Rigid Trucks

29,411

Heavy Rigid Trucks

78,490

Articulated Trucks

25,560

Non-Freight Carrying Vehicles

6,262

Buses

19,509

Motor Cycles

169,406

Total

4,383,634

Source: ABS Motor Vehicle Census 2013[footnote 78]

Figure 7. Registered Vehicles in Victoria by Type (as at 31 January 2013)

Source: Chart generated from data in Figure 5[footnote 79]

Figure 8. Motorcyclist Fatalities (Melbourne / country)

Source: TAC, April 2014 Road Safety Statistical Summary[footnote 80]

Figure 9. Motorcyclist Claims Involving an Acute Hospital Admission (Melbourne / Country)

Source: TAC, April 2014 Road Safety Statistical Summary[footnote 81]

Motorcycle GLS—What the Bill Proposes

The Government is investing approximately $2.92 million from the Motorcycle Safety Levy to fund the development and implementation of the GLS.[footnote 82] The new motorcycle GLS will be introduced in two stages. The Road Safety Amendment Bill 2014 implements stage one, which provides new requirements for learner and newly licensed motorcycle riders. Under this Bill, inexperienced motorcycle licence holders will be subject to a zero BAC requirement for three years rather than current 12 months. This is in line with the graduated licensing system for newly licensed car drivers. This restriction will apply whether or not the motorcyclist already has a car licence. Motor cycle riders will also be required to carry their licence during that three year period. The proposed changes are outlined in Figure 10 below.

Motorcycle Graduated Licensing System—Media

§ M. Gleeson (2014) 'Motorbike Rules Rankle', Progress Leader, 3 June, p. 11.

§ (2014) 'Changes Mean a Safer Ride', Cobram Courier, 7 May.

§ (2014) 'Motorcycle Licence Laws Brought in Line with Car Licensing', Shepparton News, 3 May.

§ (2014) 'Stricter, Safer Bike Licencing', Warrnambool Standard, 3 May.

§ Ministerial Road Safety Council (2014) Road Safety Symposium to Reduce Serious Injuries, Media Release, 1 May.

§ T. Mulder, Minister for Roads (2014) A Safer Start on the Roads for Motorcyclists, Media Release, 1 May.

§ I. Munro (2011) 'Fears over 'Death Warrant' Driver Licensing', The Age, 15 July.

§ (2010) 'Changes for Learner bikers', Herald Sun, 30 September.

§ (2010) 'Harder to Get Your Motorbike Licence', Herald Sun, 3 September.


Figure 10. Proposed Changes to Motorcycle Licensing

Source: VicRoads[footnote 83]

Immediate Impoundment for BAC of 0.10 or More

In his second reading speech, Minister for Roads Terry Mulder stated that 'around 70 per cent of drink drivers killed in crashes have BAC of 0.10 or more'.[footnote 84] Mr Mulder further stated that 'police detect a BAC reading at 0.10 or greater in one third of drink drivers that they stop' and for most of these, this is their first offence.[footnote 85]

Currently, drink drivers of 0.10 BAC or over face immediate licence loss on their first offence but not vehicle impoundment. The existing provisions enable vehicle impoundment of 30 days plus additional time applied by the courts for second-time drink-driving offenders with a 0.10 BAC or greater.[footnote 86]

The Bill extends the ability of police to impound vehicles of not only second offenders but also first-time drink drivers with a BAC of 0.10 or higher. Under the proposed provisions, police will be given discretionary powers to impound vehicles for 30 days for first time drink driving offenders with a BAC of 0.10 or greater, consistent with other first offences that attract impoundment.[footnote 87]

The number of vehicles impounded is expected to rise by 3,800 to 4,800 additional vehicles in the first three years after commencement of Bill.[footnote 88] The Bill also includes measures to assist Victoria Police to manage vehicle impoundment more efficiently, as well as amendments to improve processes relating to immobilisation, vehicle abandonment and court hardship applications.

Other Amendments

Recovering Costs of Vehicle Removal

The Bill provides that, in circumstances where police need to move a vehicle (e.g. for unlawful parking, causing obstruction, danger or traffic congestion) they can recover the costs of doing so from the registered operator of the vehicle. Currently, they can only recover the cost from the owner, who may be different from the registered operator.

Access Arrangements under Rail Management Act 1996

The Bill extends access arrangements under the Rail Management Act 1996 beyond their expiry date of May 2015. Access arrangements set out terms and conditions for transport service providers to provide access to the service, including price for access and maintenance standards for infrastructure. The Essential Services Commission approves all rail transport access arrangements. This extension allows time for Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure to complete review of the Victorian Rail Access regime.



[footnote 1] Access arrangements set out terms and conditions for transport service providers to provide access to the service, including price for access and maintenance standards for infrastructure. See Second Reading speech in Victoria, Legislative Assembly (2014) Debates, Book 7, 28 May, pp. 1741-1743.

[footnote 2] See Motor Car (Safety) Act 1970; Second Reading debate in Victoria, Legislative Assembly (1970) Debates, Volume 301, 2 December, p. 2793.

[footnote 3] Federal Office of Road Safety (1998) The History of Road Fatalities in Australia, Transport Accident Commission website, p. 2.

[footnote 4] ibid., p. 2.

[footnote 5] Department of Justice, Victoria (2013) 'Road toll statistics', Cameras Save Lives website; Road Safety Victoria (2014) 'Daily Road Toll statistics', Road Safety Victoriawebsite.

[footnote 6] Department of Justice, Victoria (2013) op. cit.

[footnote 7] Road Safety Victoria (2014) 'Provisional Road Toll for 2013', Road Safety Victoriawebsite.

[footnote 8] Road Safety Victoria (2014) 'Daily Road Toll Statistics', op. cit.

[footnote 9] Road Safety Victoria (2014) 'The Road Safety Landscape', Road Safety Victoriawebsite.

[footnote 10] VicRoads (2013) Submission to the Road Safety Committee, Inquiry into Serious Injury, 16 May, p. 25.

[footnote 11] Monash University Accident Research Centre (2013) Submission to the Road Safety Committee, Inquiry into Serious Injury, April, p. 11.

[footnote 12] Road Safety Victoria (2013) 'Drink Driving', Road Safety Victoria website.

[footnote 13] Road Safety Coroners Prevention Unit (2012) Presence of alcohol and drugs amongst deaths from on-road transport crashes in Victoria 1 January 2008 – 31 December 2011, Melbourne, Coroners Court of Victoria. As cited in Road Safety Victoria (2014) 'Drug Driving', Road Safety Victoriawebsite.

[footnote 14] Road Safety Victoria (2014) 'Victoria's Road Safety Strategy 2013-2022', Road Safety Victoriawebsite. See also Ministerial Council for Road Safety (2013) Victoria's Road Safety Strategy to Drive the Next Decade, Media Release, 1 March.

[footnote 15] B. Lesman (2002) Information Paper: Alcohol Ignition Interlocks, Melbourne, Parliamentary Library Research Service.

[footnote 16] Social Development Committee, Victoria (1988) Alcohol Abuse and Road Safety: Inquiry into the Management of Drink-Drivers Apprehended with High Blood Alcohol Levels, p. v.

[footnote 17] Victorian Coalition (1999) The Coalition's New Agenda, Safer Roads, Transport 2000 – 2010, Policy document.

[footnote 18]Australian Transport Council (2000) National Road Safety Strategy 2001 – 2010, Media Release, 17 November.

[footnote 19]Australian Transport Council (2000) National Road Safety Action Plan 2001 and 2002.

[footnote 20] Batchelor, P., Minister for Transport (2001) Government Proposes Tough New Measures to Target Repeat Drink Drivers, Media Release, 13 June.

[footnote 21] Victoria, Legislative Assembly (2001) Debates, Book 10, 29 November 2001, p. 2187.

[footnote 22] See K. Moor (2012) 'Join the fight to reduce deaths', Herald Sun, 5 September, p. 1; Editorial (2012) 'You can help to save lives', Herald Sun, 5 September, p. 38; K. Moor (2012) 'Victorians Loud and Clear on Curbing Road Deaths: Drug Drivers Under Fire', Herald Sun, 12 September, p. 15; Editorial (2012) 'Road Safety Survey', Herald Sun, 2 October, p. 12.

[footnote 23] K. Moor (2012) 'Lower Drink-Drive Limit Unlikely .05 Change Blown Away', Herald Sun, 23 October, p. 10.

[footnote 24] K. Moor, (2013) 'Bloody Idiot Lock', Herald Sun, 25 February 2013, p. 1.

[footnote 25] Road Safety Victoria (2013) 'Victoria's Road Safety Action Plan 2013-2016', Road Safety Victoriawebsite, p. 8.

[footnote 26] ibid.

[footnote 27] ibid.

[footnote 28] U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2009) Ignition InterlocksWhat You Need to Know: A Toolkit for Policymakers, Highway Safety Professionals and Advocates, NHTSA website, p. 5.

See also U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2014) Ignition InterlocksWhat You Need to Know: A Toolkit for Policymakers, Highway Safety Professionals and Advocates, Second edition, NHTSA website; Willis, C., S. Lybrand & N. Bellamy (2009) 'Alcohol Ignition Interlock Programmes for Reducing Drink Driving Recidivism (Review)', The Cochrane Library, Issue 1.

[footnote 29] Victoria, Legislative Assembly (2014) Debates, op. cit. p. 1742.

[footnote 30] See Lesman (2002) op. cit.

[footnote 31] T. Mulder, Minister for Roads (2014) Caught on Camera – Interlocks to Keep Tabs on Drink Drivers, Media Release, 27 May.

[footnote 32] Concessions will be available to health care card, pensioner card and Department of Veterans' Affairs Gold card holders. See Victoria, Legislative Assembly (2014) Debates, op. cit., p. 1742.

[footnote 33] See Lesman (2002) op. cit.

[footnote 34] See K. Moor, (2014) 'Drink-Drivers Will Be Forced to Pay at Least $1000 to Fit Alcohol Interlocks', Herald Sun, 27 May; Editorial (2013) 'Turn-Off for Drink-Drivers', Herald Sun, 25 February, p.22; Editorial (2013) 'Locks Are the Key', Herald Sun, 18 January, p. 40.

[footnote 35] ibid.

[footnote 36] Victoria, Legislative Assembly (2014) Debates, Book 7, 28 May 2014, p. 1742.

[footnote 37] Victoria, Legislative Assembly (2014) Debates, op. cit., p. 1742.

[footnote 38] See R. D. Robertson, E. Holmes & W. Vanlaar (2009), 'Alcohol Interlocks: Taking Research to

Practice', Proceedings of the 10th International Alcohol Interlock Symposium, Melbourne, 25-28 October, Traffic Injury Research Foundation.

[footnote 39] See Road Safety Act 1986, Schedule 1B - Alcohol Interlock Requirement.

[footnote 40] ibid.

[footnote 41] See Road Safety Act 1986, section 50AAB.

[footnote 42] Victoria, Legislative Assembly (2014) Debates, Book 7, 28 May 2014, p. 1742.

[footnote 43] ibid.

[footnote 44] ibid.

[footnote 45] ibid.

[footnote 46] ibid.

[footnote 47] ibid., p. 1743.

[footnote 48] ibid., p. 1742.

[footnote 49] T. Mulder, Minister for Roads (2014) Caught on Camera – Interlocks to Keep Tabs on Drink Drivers, Media Release, 27 May.

[footnote 50] Federal Office of Road Safety (1998) The History of Road Fatalities in Australia, Transport Accident Commission website, p. 2.

[footnote 51] Department of Justice, Victoria (2013) 'Road toll statistics', Cameras Save Lives website.

[footnote 52] Victoria, Legislative Assembly (2014) Debates, Book 7, 28 May 2014, p. 1743.

[footnote 53] C. Stough & R. King (2010) 'The Role of Alcohol and Other Drugs in Road Deaths and Serious Injuries', Prevention Research Quarterly, March 2010, p. 2. See also Mason, A. & A. McBay (1984) 'Ethanol, marijuana, and other drug use in 600 drivers killed in single-vehicle crashes in north Carolina, 1978-1981', Journal of Forensic Science, 29, pp. 987–1026; Tunbridge R, D. Rowe, M. Keigan & P. Jackson (2000) 'The incidence of drugs in road accident fatalities in Great Britain', paper presented at the International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, Stockholm.

[footnote 54] Victoria, Legislative Assembly (2014) Debates, op. cit., p. 1743. See also Road Safety Coroners Prevention Unit (2012) Presence of alcohol and drugs amongst deaths from on-road transport crashes in Victoria 1 January 2008 – 31 December 2011, Melbourne, Coroners Court of Victoria.

[footnote 55] Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health (2013) 'Drivers Who Test Positive for Drugs Have Triple the Risk of Fatal Car Crash', ScienceDaily, 25 September.

[footnote 56] G. Li, Brady, J., and Chen, Q. (2013) 'Drug use and fatal motor vehicle crashes: A case-control study', Accident Analysis & Prevention, issue 60, pp. 205–210.

[footnote 57] K. Moor (2013) 'Tough Penalties for Drink and Drug-Affected Drivers: 'Cocktail' Crackdown', Herald Sun, 28 February, p. 4.

[footnote 58] Victoria, Legislative Assembly (2014) Debates, op. cit., p. 1743.

[footnote 59] T. Mulder, Minister for Roads (2014) Crackdown – High Fines for Drink-Drug Drivers, Media Release, 1 May.

[footnote 60] ibid. Penalty unit as at May 2014 is $144.36.

[footnote 61] ibid.

[footnote 62] T. Pallas, Minister for Roads (2008) Major Changes Come into Effect on 1 July Under New Graduated Licensing System, Media Release, 25 June.

[footnote 63] VicRoads (2013) 'Victoria's Graduated Licensing System', VicRoadswebsite.

[footnote 64] Victorian Government (2010) Graduated Licensing for Motorcyclists – a Discussion Paper 2010, VicRoads website.

[footnote 65] T. Pallas, Minister for Roads (2010) Improving Motorbike Licensing and Safety for New Riders, Media Release, 2 September.

[footnote 66] ACEM (2009) 'MAIDS In-depth investigations of accidents involving powered two wheelers Final report 2.0' as cited in Victorian Government (2010) Graduated Licensing for Motorcyclists – a Discussion Paper 2010, op. cit., p. 16.

[footnote 67] N. Haworth, K. Grieg & D. Wishart (2007) 'Motorcycle and scooter training and licensing: QUT report for VicRoads' as cited in Victorian Government (2010) Graduated Licensing for Motorcyclists – a Discussion Paper 2010, op. cit., p. 16.

[footnote 68] Victorian Government (2010) Graduated Licensing for Motorcyclists – a Discussion Paper 2010, op. cit., p. 16.

[footnote 69] ibid., p. 21.

[footnote 70] (2010) 'Changes for Learner Bikers', Herald Sun, 30 September, p. 22.

[footnote 71] ibid.

[footnote 72] (2014) 'Stricter, Safer Bike Licencing', Warrnambool Standard, 3 May, p. 35.

[footnote 73] M. Gleeson (2014) 'Motorbike Rules Rankle', Progress Leader, 3 June, p. 11.

[footnote 74] Transport Accident Commission (2014) 'Motorcycle Crash Data', TACwebsite.

[footnote 75] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013) Motor Vehicle Census, Cat no. 9309.0, 31 January, ABS, p. 8.

[footnote 76] Transport Accident Commission (2014)'Road Toll – Annual', TACwebsite.

[footnote 77] ibid.

[footnote 78] Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013) Motor Vehicle Census, op. cit, p. 8.

[footnote 79] ibid.

[footnote 80] Transport Accident Commission (2014) 'Road Safety Statistical Summary', April 2014, TACwebsite.

[footnote 81]ibid.

[footnote 82] 'Stricter, Safer Bike Licencing', Warrnambool Standard, 3 May 2014, p. 35.

[footnote 83] VicRoads (2014) 'New Motorcycle Graduated Licensing System', VicRoadswebsite.

[footnote 84] Victoria, Legislative Assembly (2014) Debates, Book 7, 28 May, p. 1743.

[footnote 85] ibid.

[footnote 86] ibid.

[footnote 87] ibid.

[footnote 88] ibid.