NSW Labor is calling on the Baird Government to consider a new plan for road safety which would see drivers caught for low level driving offences have the option to undergo a retraining program in lieu of demerit points.
Tragically, this year the road toll in NSW has increased by 10 per cent to 374. Last year the road toll increased for the first time since 2009. Sadly it is becoming more apparent that current driving offence deterrents are not working to keep people safe.
Labor’s plan is to change driver behaviour, not just increase fines. The NSW Government is being urged to consider this approach, with similar programs succeeding internationally.
The retraining program would only be available for a motorist once every three years to stop repeat offenders from returning to the course time and time again. The course would be funded through the fines motorists would ordinarily pay for their offence. If a motorist chose not to undertake the course they would still pay the fine and lose demerit points.
Labor is concerned that the Baird Government’s efforts to improve road safety are simply not working while speed camera and other fine revenue continues to rise year on year.
Just last month, Roads Minster Duncan Gay declined an offer by Shadow Roads Minister Jodi McKay to hold a bipartisan roundtable on the issue – but the offer still stands. When it comes to reducing the road toll, nothing can be left off the table.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Roads Jodi McKay
“The Government has put all of its efforts into raising revenue through speed camera fines. What they should be doing is focusing on changing driver behaviour.
“This issue is above politics, which is why I wrote to the Duncan Gay calling for a bipartisan roundtable. While he has declined for us to work together, the offer still stands.
“Driver retraining programs have been effective elsewhere and should be considered here.
“Something has gone seriously wrong in the last two years and we need to do everything possible to stop deaths on our roads.”