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Reform for Drive Whilst Disqualified offences and disqualification periods

The Road Transport Amendment (Driver Licence Disqualification) Bill has now been passed through Parliament. The new laws will create huge changes for traffic laws within New South Wales in three ways:

  • The Habitual Traffic Offender Declaration Scheme will be abolished. This will mean that habitual offenders will no longer have a further five year disqualification period added to their court ordered disqualification by the RMS;
  • Maximum penalties for unauthorised driving offences will be revised to make them more proportionate to other driving offences;
  • And perhaps most significantly, certain disqualified drivers who have complied with their disqualification period for at least two years, will be able to apply to the Local Court to have their disqualification lifted early.

These reforms will take affect by October 2017.

The rationale behind the proposed amendments is that a lengthy disqualification period can have a disproportionate impact on people’s lives, which at times has led to many people reoffending. The reforms main objective is to reduce reoffending by providing an option for offenders who have a lengthy disqualification period to apply to the Local Court to have their disqualification removed. Disqualified drivers who have not reoffended, will be able to make this application once they have complied with their disqualification period for a minimum of two to four years, depending on the circumstances of their case. This essentially shifts from a focus on punishment to a focus on rehabilitation, and should result in less repeat offenders.

However, the reforms will also give stronger powers to Police to keep repeat offenders and dangerous drivers off our roads.

Police powers will be expanded to enable the on-the-spot confiscation of number plates or vehicles of those who continue to drive while unlicensed or disqualified. This will allow police to take swift action in appropriate cases.

The reforms will also enable three month vehicle sanctions to apply where a disqualified driver is caught exceeding the speed limit by more than 30km/hour.

Longer on-the-spot vehicle sanctions of six months can now be imposed by Police for repeat offenders who have two or more prior convictions for certain driving offences within the past five year period. These offences include driving while unlicensed or disqualified, applying for a licence without mentioning their disqualification, or stating their name incorrectly on a driving application.

If you have been disqualified by a court and served between two to four years without reoffending, call Armstrong Legal to discuss your options.

Image Credit – pockygallery ©

Written by Martin Vazquez on October 10, 2017

Martin recognises that going to court can be a stressful time, so he is passionate about providing the best possible service to his clients, applying his excellent communication skills to assist them through every step of the way. View Martin's profile

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