The revised penalties for speeding drivers, people not wearing seatbelts and driving while using hand-held mobile phones come into effect tomorrow (Saturday).
Announced by the Premier in January, the new penalties are a direct response to the horror road toll in 2007 and community outrage at the continued poor and inexcusable behaviour of some drivers on Western Australian roads.
Community Safety Minister John Kobelke said the State Government had moved swiftly to enact the new penalties, which were among the harshest in the country.
“Drivers who choose to abide by the law have nothing to fear from these new penalties,” Mr Kobelke said.
“Unfortunately, there are people who continue to fail to take responsibility for their own actions and endanger the lives of themselves, their passengers and other road users.”
Under the changes, a driver is responsible for ensuring all passengers are wearing seatbelts - regardless of the passenger’s age. Drivers with passengers not wearing seatbelts will be fined and lose demerit points. Passengers over the age of 16 who are not wearing seatbelts will continue to receive their own penalty of $500.
Last year, the fines for people using hand-held mobile phones while driving were doubled and at the time, the Premier indicated penalties would be increased if people failed to act.
“As a result of the community’s failure to heed the severity of the dangers, the penalty for using hand-held phones while driving has been increased from $100 and three demerit points to $250 and three demerit points,” Mr Kobelke said.
Penalties will also be increased for drivers who continue to speed on the State’s roads by more than 20kmh, with the fine for exceeding the limit by 30-39km/h doubled to $700.
“Exceeding the speed limit by more than 20kmh is inexcusable and drivers will now pay the price for their reckless behaviour,” the Minister said.
“Driving comes with responsibilities and all WA road users need to ensure that their actions are not endangering themselves, their passengers or other road users by adhering to the laws.”
The new hoon and road rage measures and increased court-imposed penalties for reckless driving, which were also announced in January, require legislative changes and will be introduced into Parliament by mid-year.
Minister's office - 9222 9211