Li­cence law change

NSW is help­ing dis­qual­i­fied drivers get back on road by re­ward­ing com­pli­ance

Big Rigs - - INDUSTRY OPINION - Sarah Mari­novic

❝ The new laws seek to en­cour­age dis­qual­i­fied drivers to re­form them­selves by giv­ing them hope of hav­ing their li­cence re­turned.

is a traf­fic lawyer from Arm­strong Le­gal, with par­tic­u­lar ex­per­tise in heavy ve­hi­cle and truck­ing law

SUB­STAN­TIAL amend­ments have been made to the NSW driver li­cens­ing laws.

One of the most sig­nif­i­cant changes is a new law that al­lows dis­qual­i­fied drivers to ap­ply to the lo­cal court to have their re­main­ing dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tions re­moved af­ter serv­ing a pre­scribed of­fence-free pe­riod.

These amend­ments seek to re­duce re­of­fend­ing and en­cour­age re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion by giv­ing dis­qual­i­fied drivers the chance to re­gain their li­cence ear­lier if they com­ply with their dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

The prob­lem with the old law was it pre­scribed lengthy ad­di­tional dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion pe­ri­ods for each oc­ca­sion a per­son was caught driv­ing while dis­qual­i­fied or sus­pended.

Once a dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion was im­posed it usu­ally could not be re­moved.

How­ever re­search showed this type of penalty pro­vided lim­ited mo­ti­va­tion for of­fend­ers to re­form.

The im­pact was par­tic­u­larly felt when the per­son re­lied on their abil­ity to drive for a liv­ing.

Peo­ple were faced with the dilemma of los­ing their liveli­hood or risk­ing ad­di­tional pun­ish­ments by con­tin­u­ing to drive.

They would inevitably be caught driv­ing and the ad­di­tional dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion pe­ri­ods quickly added up.

It was not un­com­mon for a per­son to be dis­qual­i­fied for decades, even when they had orig­i­nally lost their li­cence for a mi­nor traf­fic in­fringe­ment or even pay­ing a fine late.

The new laws seek to en­cour­age dis­qual­i­fied drivers to re­form them­selves by giv­ing them hope of hav­ing their li­cence re­turned.

In or­der to have their dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tions re­moved un­der the new law, the per­son will need to demon­strate they have not com­mit­ted any fur­ther of­fences for ei­ther two or four years de­pend­ing on why the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tions were orig­i­nally im­posed. The wait­ing pe­riod is:

■ Four years for of­fences such as drink-driv­ing, drug-driv­ing, speed­ing by more than 30km/h and dan­ger­ous driv­ing.

■ Two years for of­fences such as driv­ing while sus­pended or dis­qual­i­fied.

The court will con­sider a range of fac­tors in de­ter­min­ing whether it is ap­pro­pri­ate to re­duce a per­son’s dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion pe­riod.

These fac­tors seek to bal­ance pub­lic safety against the im­pact of a long dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion on the per­son and any steps they have taken to demon­strate re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

If a per­son has been con­victed of cer­tain se­ri­ous of­fences they will not be en­ti­tled to ap­ply to have their dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tions re­moved early.

These in­clude of­fences such as driv­ing that causes death or griev­ous bod­ily harm.

If you be­lieve you may be el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply to have your dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tions re­moved, it is rec­om­mended you seek le­gal ad­vice be­fore lodg­ing your ap­pli­ca­tion.

This is be­cause there are strict rules about what must be in­cluded in the ap­pli­ca­tion, as well as a limit on how soon a per­son can reap­ply if their ap­pli­ca­tion is re­jected.

FYI: Sarah Mari­novic, a traf­fic lawyer from Arm­strong Le­gal, ex­plains the NSW changes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.