The Queensland Parliament has passed laws creating new offences for careless driving which results in the death or serious injury.
From 18 June 2018, a new offence of Careless driving causing death or Grievous Bodily Harm will have a maximum penalty of 80 penalty units (currently $10,092.00) or 12 months imprisonment. The driver’s licence will also be disqualified for a minimum of 6 months.
If the offence occurred while the driver was unlicensed then the maximum penalty will increase to 160 penalty units (currently $20,184.00) or 2 years imprisonment. The minimum licence disqualification will remain at 6 months.
Previously where a person was convicted of driving without due care and attention (regardless of whether a person was killed or seriously injured from the careless driving), the maximum penalty was 40 penalty units (currently $5,046.00) or 6 months imprisonment. A driver convicted of this offence would also accumulate 3 demerit points on their driver licence. No minimum licence disqualification applied.
The new laws also provide for an increase to the minimum licence disqualification for the offence of Dangerous Driving causing death or Grievous Bodily Harm from 6 months to at least 12 months.
The changes to the law follow lobbying from the families of victims and Coronial recommendations for law reform in this area.