Changes have finally been announced today to stop drug drivers being able to continue driving while awaiting a fine, following a year-long call from the Liberal Nationals.
But these changes don’t go far enough to improve road safety.
The Liberal Nationals have been calling for a tightening of rules for those who test positive to illicit substances while behind the wheel since 2019.
Our concerns were backed by three separate magistrates who have repeatedly vented frustrations in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court about being unable to jail repeat drug drivers under current legislation.
These changes do nothing to address those concerns or to address the difference between penalties for drink driving and those for drug driving.
If the Andrews Labor Government wants to get serious about drug driving, it needs to take extra steps and give magistrates the ability to jail repeat offenders and bring penalties in line with drink driving.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Rural Roads, Roma Britnell:
“I’m pleased that Police have implemented these calls from the Liberal Nationals to make our roads safer.
“When you have magistrates publicly airing their frustrations at being unable to hand someone what they think would be an appropriate penalty – there is a significant problem.
“The Andrews Labor Government must do more to keep other motorists safe from people who flout the laws and get behind the wheel under the influence of illicit drugs.”