Unlicensed driving Victoria Jalals law

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antigee
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Unlicensed driving Victoria Jalals law

Postby antigee » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:48 am

looks like this legislative change in Victoria (if makes through) could make driving whilst unlicensed and causing injury or death automatically be considered dangerous driving....

https://www.9news.com.au/national/2018/ ... ew-vic-law

though its could be a "good thing" it may prove ineffective in current form and a pay day bonus for defense lawyers - for those with time to read this submission to the Vic' Parliaments Law Reform etc committee is worth a read:

https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/image ... dacted.pdf

and the committee has suggested the law is seriously flawed:

"The Committee found that a lack of clarity regarding causation in the Bill, if enacted in its current form, could
lead to implementation problems and require detailed consideration by the courts.
It also had concerns about the significantly lower standard of culpability that the Bill would impose, which
could result in unjust outcomes or be unworkable in practice."


https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/image ... -09-18.pdf

human909
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Re: Unlicensed driving Victoria Jalals law

Postby human909 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:46 pm

antigee wrote:ooks like this legislative change in Victoria (if makes through) could make driving whilst unlicensed and causing injury or death automatically be considered dangerous driving

.......

and the committee has suggested the law is seriously flawed:

That was my immediate reaction. I don't have time to read all the background or the submission but skimming through it pretty much sums up man of my immediate concerns.

To my mind that is a band-aid measure to 'fix' the watered down definition of driving dangerously. I don't see how not having a license in of itself should increase the penalty or culpability. If you kill somebody how should holding a licence make you less accountable for your actions than somebody who doesn't?

My brother lost his licence. Why? Because he didn't vote in an WA election when he was no longer living in WA. All mail regarding the election, the fines, the warning and loss of licence was sent to his old address in WA. Only when he tried to update his WA license to the new state he found out that he no longer had a license!

(Not having a 'license' is currently able to be considered in culpability. There is currently plenty of scope for this in law. And there are licences for hundreds of activities and professions.)


The elephant in the room is that we have allowed a society to form of people operating dangerous and deadly machinery where many of them have no competence in doing so. Better training, better education and stronger punishments (at least in terms of licencing).
Last edited by human909 on Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AdelaidePeter
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Re: Unlicensed driving Victoria Jalals law

Postby AdelaidePeter » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:00 pm

human909 wrote:
antigee wrote:ooks like this legislative change in Victoria (if makes through) could make driving whilst unlicensed and causing injury or death automatically be considered dangerous driving

.......

and the committee has suggested the law is seriously flawed:

My brother lost his licence. Why? Because he didn't vote in an WA election when he was no longer living in WA. All mail regarding the election, the fines, the warning and loss of licence was sent to his old address in WA. Only when he tried to update his WA license to the new state he found out that he no longer had a license!


Indeed. Obviously some sort of penalty was appropriate for your brother, but not jail if he happened to be in a fatal crash that was not his fault.

human909 wrote:To my mind that is a band-aid measure to 'fix' the watered down definition of driving dangerously.


As I argued on another thread (and think you're saying the same thing in different words), the problem is the distinction between "dangerous driving" ("bad" person doing one of the hot button things like drag racing, drink driving, etc which only "bad" people do) and "negligent driving" (respectable citizen who oops, killed someone). If you're at fault and you kill someone, then by definition it should be dangerous driving.

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Re: Unlicensed driving Victoria Jalals law

Postby human909 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:06 pm

AdelaidePeter wrote:Indeed. Obviously some sort of penalty was appropriate for your brother, but not jail if he happened to be in a fatal crash that was not his fault.

I would argue if there was no evidence at all of fault then there should be no penalty at all regarding the crash. The fact that he did or didn't have a licence is immaterial. (Particularly because it was removed for a non driving offence and without him knowing.)

Letter of the law though would mean most likely mean a driving unlicensed charge. But, hey plenty of times the cops fail to charge... As it happened he didn't face any fines and got it all sorted out. But he was driving for at least a month if not more unlicensed.

AdelaidePeter wrote:If you're at fault and you kill someone, then by definition it should be dangerous driving.

Pretty much this. And as you point out we both agree.

The point of issue is the use of language. Driving a motor vehicle negligently is surely in of itself 'dangerous'. Negligently pouring a beer generally isn't. The point of issue is one of culpability. Again words like negligent and reckless imbue different levels of culpability.

While this might sound all like semantics, semantics is EXACTLY what lots of law comes down to.

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Re: Unlicensed driving Victoria Jalals law

Postby find_bruce » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:29 pm

The fault theory is that without a licence, the person shouldn't be driving at all, hence any collision involves fault on the part of the unlicenced driver, even if the other driver was also at fault.

That said I see a difference between someone who has lost their licence because of driving - that is DUI, dangerous driving etc and someone who has had their licence suspended by administrative action because they owe the government money for various reasons including (1) they may not be aware of the unpaid fine let alone the suspension & (2) its one of the ways in which the government criminalise poverty

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Re: Unlicensed driving Victoria Jalals law

Postby AdelaidePeter » Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:46 pm

human909 wrote:
AdelaidePeter wrote:Indeed. Obviously some sort of penalty was appropriate for your brother, but not jail if he happened to be in a fatal crash that was not his fault.

I would argue if there was no evidence at all of fault then there should be no penalty at all regarding the crash. The fact that he did or didn't have a licence is immaterial. (Particularly because it was removed for a non driving offence and without him knowing.)


Sorry, that sentence of mine you quoted was ambiguous. What I meant is that some sort of penalty would have been appropriate if he was caught driving without a license. Then (and this should have been a separate sentence to make it clearer), any such penalty should not be any different if he happened to be in a crash which wasn't his fault. Of course in your brother's case, a bit of leniency might be appropriate, but in the end it is the driver's responsibility to ensure their license (and rego) are up to date.

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Re: Unlicensed driving Victoria Jalals law

Postby human909 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:30 pm

find_bruce wrote:The fault theory is that without a licence, the person shouldn't be driving at all, hence any collision involves fault on the part of the unlicenced driver, even if the other driver was also at fault.


Which is plainly perverse IMO, but it wouldn't be the first time the law had perverse and unjust outcomes.

No really much different to not having a bell on you bicycle. You shouldn't be on the road. But if they made that a reason for putting a cyclist at fault then that would be absurd. Almost as absurd was the hit from behind cyclist incident where not having a front light was blamed.

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Re: Unlicensed driving Victoria Jalals law

Postby Jmuzz » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:56 am

I think the reason for not having a license should be an important consideration.

Never passed a test, yes very dangerous you never proved you were competent.
Suspended for offences, yes you are identified as dangerous and banned from the roads.
Medical ban, yes banned due to identified risk.

Forgot to pay renewal tax, petty.
Suspended as punishment for not paying a fine, petty.
Didn't comply with technicality of moving states, petty.

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Re: Unlicensed driving Victoria Jalals law

Postby human909 » Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:54 am

Jmuzz wrote:I think the reason for not having a license should be an important consideration.

Never passed a test, yes very dangerous you never proved you were competent.
Suspended for offences, yes you are identified as dangerous and banned from the roads.
Medical ban, yes banned due to identified risk.

Forgot to pay renewal tax, petty.
Suspended as punishment for not paying a fine, petty.
Didn't comply with technicality of moving states, petty.


Hard to disagree with that logic. :wink:

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Re: Unlicensed driving Victoria Jalals law

Postby find_bruce » Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:59 pm

Just to give a sense of scale, the following is a smmary of the total number of suspensions and cancellations in NSW at June 2018. That's number suspended, not number driving whilst suspended & the % is of those, not total licenced

    8,918 Fine Default 44%
    130 Administrative 1%
    3,064 Court imposed 15%
    3,946 Demerit Points 20%
    319 Excess Speed 2%
    95 Combined DP/ES 0.5%
    1,000 Police imposed 5%
    2,625 Medical 13%

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Re: Unlicensed driving Victoria Jalals law

Postby bychosis » Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:31 pm

Jmuzz wrote:Forgot to pay renewal tax, petty.
Suspended as punishment for not paying a fine, petty.
Didn't comply with technicality of moving states, petty.

In addition to those factors would be including the length of time since the suspension. Few weeks/months it could just be a lapse in payment. Longer, and it starts to indicate deliberate attempt to not renew the license.
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Re: Unlicensed driving Victoria Jalals law

Postby human909 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:04 am

bychosis wrote:In addition to those factors would be including the length of time since the suspension. Few weeks/months it could just be a lapse in payment. Longer, and it starts to indicate deliberate attempt to not renew the license.


Even so, I don't see that there is not logical, ethical or moral reasons that such actions should increase culpability.

The lack of having a licence in of itself shouldn't be a determinant of culpability. Though many cases the REASONS for not having a licence could increase culpability. All that said if it somebody involved in a crash that is completely not the drivers fault then holding them accountable seems a little absurd.

But absurdity is how we currently police our roads. We throw the book at people who are 'bad' aka speeding teenagers who killed their passengers. But throw a couple of wet lettuce leaves at incompetent/distracted drivers who kill strangers. It seems to me that you are mostly safe from strong punishment if you aren't speeding or intoxicated.

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