24/05/2012

Mr BARBER (Northern Metropolitan) -- In the near future the Greens will be looking to introduce a vulnerable road user provision into the law to put more responsibility onto motorists to look out for pedestrians, cyclists, road workers and other vulnerable groups -- for example, people moving agricultural machinery along roads.

Many road safety experts and road user groups are talking about special laws for protecting vulnerable road users, but so far amongst the political parties only the Greens is proposing to do something about it. Victorian law already recognises drivers' responsibility to change their behaviour according to the circumstances, and the courts are now starting to interpret that as a special duty of care to vulnerable groups. We think it is time that was codified in law, to make the law clearer to everyone.

It is, as I say, already a serious offence to drive in a -- quoting the legislation -- 'manner that is dangerous to the public having regard to all the circumstances'. The Greens want the law to explicitly protect the circumstances and heightened risk of vulnerable road users.

This is a big step, but it comes in a long line of reform in this area of the law, including the drunk, drug and fatigue driving provisions that have been added to the Crimes Act 1958. We will be doing some wide consultation with the whole community on these proposals even before we bring a bill before the Parliament.

 

 

Vulnerable road users need greater protection under law.  For a bit of background to this initiative, read our story Vulnerable road users: what are driver's responsibilities?