New law to crack down on fleeing drivers passes third reading

Police Transport

The Government has delivered on its commitment to crack down on fleeing drivers through the passage of the Land Transport (Road Safety) Amendment Bill.

“People who don’t stop for Police put the lives of innocent people at risk. We are cracking down on that unsafe behaviour by providing Police with new powers to respond to fleeing drivers who put themselves and the public in danger,” Associate Transport Minister Damien O’Connor said.

The new law:

  • Allows Police to seize and impound a vehicle for six months if it fails to stop or remain stopped – up from 28 days.
  • Provides a new power allowing Police to seize and impound a vehicle for up to 28 days if the registered owner fails to provide information about a fleeing driver and impounding the vehicle is necessary to prevent a threat to road safety
  • Increases the period of licence disqualification from 12 months to between 12 months and 24 months after a second conviction for a failing to stop offence
  • Creates a new sentencing option allowing the Courts to order that a vehicle be forfeited on conviction for a failing to stop offence, with the offender getting no proceeds from the sale.

“These changes will mean drivers can be disqualified for longer or have their vehicle taken away for good. A vehicle owner can now have their vehicle impounded if they intentionally withhold information that could help Police track down a different driver who flees in the owner’s vehicle.

“Fleeing drivers often drive recklessly or at excessive speed. They could be fleeing from a checkpoint because they are over the alcohol limit or have been involved in a crime. These situations are high risk for everyone involved, and this legislation will help reduce their frequency,” Damien O’Connor said.

Police launched its revised Fleeing Driver Policy in May, with the aim of shifting the balance towards law enforcement, while still prioritising the safety of the public and staff.

“We are giving Police the resources, the legislation, and the powers to keep these dangerous drivers off our roads,” Police Minister Ginny Andersen said.

“The new enforcement tools in the legislation, particularly those that enable Police to identify drivers after the event, will support Police’s Fleeing Driver Policy.

“These new tools make it clear that fleeing drivers, vehicle owners or people obstructing Police’s work will face serious consequences."