Tasmania is set to introduce some of the toughest sentencing for drivers anywhere in Australia, by setting ‘dangerous driving’ on the same or higher level of seriousness as murder and rape. Being found guilty of this offence could soon get you 21 years in jail in Tasmania.
Don’t get me wrong, if someone’s reckless speeding causes the deaths of other road users, they absolutely should be punished for that. My problem with these laws is the serious lack of any real definition when it comes to ‘dangerous driving’. For those who are interested, this is the section of the Tasmania Traffic Act that is being amended. I challenge anyone to point to any concrete definition of dangerous or reckless driving. I wonder if failing to use indicators or driving far too slow on a busy highway would ever fall under the purview of these laws. I highly doubt it.
So, rather than adopt a more long-term and thorough approach to training and licensing drivers from the beginning, the government will keep in place a woefully inadequate licensing regime, and instead just punish people who drive fast. Nothing new there, I guess.