Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Hon Mark McGowan BA LLB MLA

Premier; Minister for Public Sector Management; State Development, Jobs and Trade; Federal-State Relations

Hon Michelle Roberts BA DipEd MLA

Hon Michelle Roberts BA DipEd MLA

Minister for Police; Road Safety

    Charlotte's Law - Killer drivers to face severe new penalties

    21/06/2018 10:30 AM
     
    • Charlotte's Law to bring dangerous driving penalties in line with community expectations
    • Dangerous drivers who kill innocent people to face a 20-year maximum jail sentence
    • Speed threshold for aggravated dangerous driving lowered to 30kmh
    • New aggravated circumstances for driving whilst unlicensed, suspended or disqualified 

    Killer drivers will face tougher penalties under reforms being introduced into State Parliament today - to be known as Charlotte's Law.

     

    The new law will expand the criteria in which police can charge someone with aggravated dangerous driving causing death.

     

    The changes, prompted by the tragic death of Charlotte Pemberton and others, are designed to bring penalties in line with community expectations.

     

    Ms Pemberton was killed by a man driving a high-powered motorcycle, without a valid licence and travelling at 40 kilometres over the speed limit.

     

    The new law lowers the speed threshold to 30kmh and allows police to apply aggravating circumstances for driving whilst unlicensed, suspended or disqualified.

     

    Prior to these reforms, a person could only be charged with aggravated dangerous driving in limited circumstances including:

    • Driving a vehicle at more than 45kmh over the speed limit;
    • Driving without the owner's consent; and
    • Driving to escape pursuit by a police officer. 

    Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:

     

    "Charlotte Pemberton's story made a lasting personal impression on me and many other Western Australians, and tragedies like this should not happen.

     

    "My Government is committed to making our roads and our communities safer. The community has demanded these laws, and we have acted swiftly to deliver them.

     

    "The new measure will ensure that serious penalties, in line with the community's expectations, are in place for drivers who kill or maim."

     

    Comments attributed to Police and Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts:

     

    "Nothing will ever take away the pain of those who have lost loved ones, but what this does is makes sure the law is more adequate into the future.

     

    "It's our hope that families like Charlotte Pemberton's and others don't feel robbed by the judicial process.

     

    "I hope it will also act as a significant deterrent to prevent the kind of tragedy that happened to Charlotte Pemberton and her family.

     

    "It's also a reflection of the McGowan Government's commitment to making our roads safer."

     

    Premier's office - 6552 5000

    Police and Road Safety Minister's office - 6552 6900