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Reward the good drivers, say Libs

The Sun-Herald - Sunday 9 June 2002


THE SUN-HERALD – Sunday 9 June 2002

Reward the good drivers, say Libs

By ALEX MITCHELL
STATE POLITICAL EDITOR

GOOD drivers should be rewarded with cheaper licence fees if they chalk up five years of accidentfree driving, Opposition Leader John Brogden said yesterday.

He said the Coalition would work with insurance companies -to bring about lower premiums for good drivers.

He announced a policy package of measures to promote better driving practices, saying that it would encourage good drivers-and improve road safety.

'The current approach to modifying driver behaviour is penaltybased," he said. "But there are a couple of flaws - it fails to recognise and reward safe drivers and it fails to encourage drivers to refresh their driving skills.

“While we fully support a system that punishes bad drivers, it is necessary also to encourage good driving."

The core of his plan is compensation for drivers who choose to resit the driving test or take
refresher courses. could be rewarded with lower insurance premiums or free tests.

If elected, a Coalition Government would discount licence fees for motorists with five years of unblemished driving, Mr Brogden said.

"Fatality rates dropped dramatically in the early 1980s when random breath testing was introduced and now it's time for a fresh approach."

He said the Coalition's plan was cost-neutral: "The cost of the rewards can be met by reinforcing the current penalty system with a very small fine increase," he said.

The Bureau of Transport Economics calculated recently that each road death costs the community $900,000.

Pedestrian Council of Australia chairman Harold Scruby welcomed the Coalition's proposal but called on Mr Brogden to support a review of the demerit points system because it was "out of date and illogical".

Mr Scruby wants drivers who lose their licence to sit a test before they get it back.