Michelle Roberts

Michelle Roberts

Minister for Housing and Works; Indigenous Affairs; Heritage; Land Information

    State Government to boost road safety with new owner onus laws

    21/12/2005 12:00 AM

    New vehicle licensing laws will be introduced as of January 1 next year in a State Government initiative aimed at boosting road safety.

    Police Minister Michelle Roberts said the new ‘Owner Onus’ laws would come into effect in the New Year giving police the powers to target speeding motorcyclists and drivers who flout the law.

    “These new laws will ensure car owners take responsibility for identifying who is in charge of their vehicle at any given time,” Mrs Roberts said.

    “Our Government is committed to boosting road safety, and research shows that penalising unsafe driving is an important weapon in the fight to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads.

    “When drivers avoid the consequences of their unsafe behaviour and ‘get away with it’ because they cannot be identified, then road safety is being put at risk because these people are unlikely to change their bad habits.”

    Mrs Roberts said under the new Owner Onus laws, the owner of a licensed vehicle would be deemed to be the ‘person responsible’ for the vehicle.

    “If vehicles are detected by a speed camera or by a camera at traffic lights, the owners will have to pay a fine unless they can identify who was driving the vehicles at the time,” she said.

    “If the owners of the cars cannot identify the drivers of their vehicles or prove they took reasonable measures to ensure who was in charge of their vehicle at the time of the offence, then they are liable for hefty fines.

    “For a first offence the fine is $1,200 and this increases up to $2,400 for subsequent offences. For corporations, this penalty is $5,000.”

    Mrs Roberts said the Owner Onus laws would impact on:
    • all owners of licensed vehicles;
    • companies with vehicles driven by employees;
    • associations and clubs with vehicles licensed in their name;
    • owners under 16 years of age (light vehicles) and under 18 (heavy vehicles); and
    • financial institutions which on-sell repossessed vehicles.
    Minister's office - 9213 6600