Pedestrian Council of
Safety – Amenity – Access – Health
Friday 19 May 2006
WE DEMAND ANSWERS
The Chairman of the PCA, Harold Scruby accused the former Roads Minister Michael Costa of contributing to the current spate of injuries around School Crossings.
Mr Scruby said: “We demand to know why he quietly and without any consultation, effectively neutered the penalty for stopping in School Zones last July when he was Minister for Roads. (A copy of our
His predecessor, Carl Scully had formally announced there would be would be 3 Demerit Points and a $225 fine for Stop on/near children’s/pedestrian/market foot crossing. This followed the recommendation by the Demerit Points and Penalties Task Force whose decision had been subject to a rigorous, year-long, open and transparent public process. This is a copy of his
“This life saving initiative had unanimous approval from all major stakeholders, including the then Opposition Leader John Brogden, Shadow Minister for Roads, Andrew Stoner, NSW Police, Ministry of Police, Pedestrian Council of Australia, NRMA, RTA the NSW P&C, Council on the Ageing, NSW Council Rangers and all the Disabilities groups.” Mr Scruby said.
“So why did Minister Costa so nefariously neuter this life saving initiative? Was it because he was concerned about the lives and limbs of our children, or was it because he succumbed to backdoor pressure from the taxi and road transport lobbies?”
Mr Scruby added: “We now call on Premier Morris Iemma and Roads Minister Eric Roozendaal to immediately reverse Mr Costa’s decision and implement ALL the original decisions made by Mr Scully which include 3 Demerit Points for stopping in a Pedestrian Zone and 2 Demerit Points for Double Parking and Stopping in Bus Zones (see copy of Mr Scully’s
“We also call on Mr Roozendaal to demand that the RTA dust off their 3 year-old “Footpath Parking Inquiry”. Currently, motorists can stop and park on a footpath in a School Zone, forcing children onto the road. The penalty is $75 – the same penalty for being ten minutes over time on an expired parking meter. The penalty for this potentially lethal offence is so low, that it can be cheaper to park on the footpath all day in
Safety – Amenity – Access – Health
COSTA SET TO SCUTTLE SCULLY’S
PEDESTRIAN SAFETY INITIATIVES
Following persistent attempts to get answers from Michael Costa’s office (NSW Minister for Roads), the PCA has been reliably informed that Mr Costa is about to announce that he will reduce former Roads Minister Carl Scully’s and the RTA’s recommended Demerit Points (DPs) for Stopping in a Pedestrian Zone from 3 to 1. This is in spite of the fact that even the NRMA’s policy since 1998 has been that there should be 3 Demerit Points for this offence (see attached letter). And the same Minister who has just abolished the long-standing position of General Manager, Bicycle and Pedestrians, at the RTA.
The Chairman of the PCA, Harold Scruby said: “Following over 7 years of lobbying by the PCA, in October 2002, the then Minister for Roads, Carl Scully, announced that the RTA would lead a review of the relativities of the penalties of all infringement notices for traffic and parking infringements, including demerit points. The main purpose of the review was to rationalise the levels of penalties and demerit points based on road safety and traffic management considerations and their deterrence value. In May 2003, the RTA Chief Executive (Paul Forward) proposed that there would be greater value if the review were conducted under the auspices of the Road Safety Taskforce (RST).
“In conjunction with the RST, the RTA called for public comment on the review via advertisements in the major
“A Reference Group, comprising representatives from NSW Police, Ministry of Police, Pedestrian Council of Australia, NRMA and RTA was formed primarily to evaluate the submissions from the public. Involvement in the Reference Group also provided the opportunity for members to detail their particular issues and concerns. The Reference Group met twice and provided significant input into the proposed changes and final recommendations.
“The NRMA's policy, released March 2003 (which followed their major review of fines and DPs) was and is that: "The Demerit Points (DP) Scheme needs to be reviewed to ensure it is fair, consistent and focused on safety. All safety-related offences should incur demerit points. Penalties should be reviewed to ensure that offences that are most likely to endanger the community carry higher penalties …" . The DP Task Force based its approach to the project on this policy and assigned same to over 1,500 offences.” Mr Scruby added.
“The RTA again advertised those recommendations for public comment. Following that, the recommendations went to the Ministerial Road Safety Task Force and then to Parliament with Carl Scully issuing a
“In early 2005, Scully was moved to Police and Costa was moved to Roads. Costa put an immediate hold on the new scheme, which is now expected to come into force on 1 July 2005, and announced that he was very much in favour of Demerit Points as a Road Safety measure and immediately announced there would be an extra DP for low-range speeding (now 3) and 3 DPs for hogging the outside lane (the Taskforce had already recommended 2).
“Rumours have since surfaced that he has been quietly fiddling with the new scheme, without any consultation with the major stakeholders or the public. The scheme now before Parliament had unanimous approval from all concerned, including Opposition Leader
“The PCA has repeatedly asked the minister's staff to deny these rumours, without reply. One of the Scully’s main initiatives was that for the first time in Australian history, there would be three DPs for stopping in a Pedestrian Zone. It will be a very important road safety enforcement tool, particularly for children around schools and for the elderly. Further rumours suggest that Minister Costa has been lobbied by the taxi, courier and trucking unions and has quietly and without any consultation agreed to drop the penalty to 1 Demerit Point. It will effectively mean you can park a Toyota Prado on a children’s pedestrian crossing, once a month, every month, forever – and never lose your licence. But you will lose 6 Demerit Points this holiday weekend if you do not do up your seat-belt and you will lose your licence if you are travelling at 61 kmh in a 60 kmh zone at the same time. And this is considered to be “fair and consistent” from the same Minister who several years ago proudly announced on TV that there would be 2 Demerit Points for playing loud music while driving.” Mr Scruby said.
Harold Scruby - Chairman/CEO – Pedestrian Council of
SUMMARY OF MAJOR CHANGES
1. New demerit points
2. Changes to number of demerit points and/or fine level
3. Changes to fine level