· 1,000 extra drug tests every week
· Increasing penalties for drug driving in line with drink driving
· Focus speed camera site selection on reducing road trauma, not raising revenue
We cannot and must not accept the high number of Victorians that are dying or injured on our roads.
Already this year 148 people have lost their lives on Victoria’s roads. That’s an increase of 54% from the same time last year and a 14 year high.
On our country roads, 90 people have lost their lives this year, a 76% increase on last year.
These aren’t just statistics. They are mums and dads, sons and daughters, and sisters and brothers who are not coming home to their families, leaving them with a lifetime of trauma.
Despite our growing road safety crisis, Labor has:
· Slashed the number of roadside breath tests by 400,000 in 2019-20;
· Cut $2.9 billion from the Transport Accident Commission to prop up Labor’s mismanaged budget; and
· Abolished the bipartisan Joint Road Safety Committee of the Victorian Parliament.
Labor’s bad decisions are making a dire situation worse.
The Liberals and Nationals believe that Victoria deserves better. There are things we can do to save lives.
There are now more drivers dying on our roads with drugs in their system than there are drivers dying with alcohol in their system. Drug drivers pose an enormous danger to themselves and to every other road user. Yet, under Labor, drug testing is inadequate and penalties for drug driving are significantly lighter than for drink drivers.
That’s why a Liberal Nationals Government will:
1. Increase roadside drug driver testing target by 52,000, from its current level of 150,000 per annum to 202,000 per annum. This is the equivalent of an additional 1,000 drug tests each and every week.
2. Double the maximum first offence fine for failing a roadside drug test from 3 penalty units to 6 penalty units (on current rates from $483.57 to $967.14) and raise the maximum first offence fine for driving while impaired by a drug from 12 penalty units to 20 penalty units (on current rates from $1,934.28 to $3,223.80). This will bring it in line with the financial penalty for a first offence for failing a BAC test.
3. Speed cameras play an important role in keeping our roads safe, but Victorian motorists must have confidence that speed camera locations are selected purely on road safety considerations. That’s why an elected Liberal Nationals Government will expand the role of the Road Safety Camera Commissioner by ensuring the Commissioner has a seat at the table in the selection of fixed road safety camera locations, a role in setting the criteria for the location of mobile speed cameras and the power to audit compliance. These changes will give motorists confidence that speed cameras will be located based on the goal of reducing road trauma, not increasing revenue.
Tragically, there are no second chances when it comes to road safety. For every week the government delays taking action, there will be more unnecessary and preventable deaths.
These changes will save lives and prevent serious injuries on our roads.
Michael O'Brien MP
Leader of the Opposition