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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 8 Hansard (27 June) . . Page.. 2512 ..


The Motor Traffic (Amendment) Bill 1996 will make a number of changes to the Motor Traffic Act 1936.

Pelican crossings.

Pelican crossings are an innovative solution to the problem of traffic delays caused when the pedestrian crossing phase of traffic lights continue to function long after a pedestrian (or cyclist) has used the crossing. The new legislation will allow motorists to pass through pedestrian crossings while the amber light is flashing, provided that no one is actually using the crossing, thus reducing point to point travel time for commuters. Pelican crossings are used in a number of interstate jurisdictions and overseas.

Administrative improvements.

The Bill introduces a number of improvements to legislation which will reduce administrative issues, such as the removal of the need for traders to fit two plates to each vehicle. This provision is not to apply in respect of trader's plates issued before the commencement of the Bill. This change accords with interstate practice and will prevent some operators from using one plate on each of two vehicles thereby escaping the cost of third party insurance on some of their vehicles. This amendment will also facilitate better enforcement of this activity by the police.

The Government Solicitor has advised Transport Regulation that records relating to licences and registration are not to be held in the name of a trust. An amendment to the Act is sought to achieve this.

The Australian Federal Police have experienced difficulties with people who have resided in the ACT for a number of years while still maintaining the registration of their motor vehicle in another jurisdiction. An amendment to require that the owner of a vehicle who has resided in the ACT for more than three months must have their vehicle registered in the ACT is included in this Bill. There will be exemption provisions available from this requirement. The amendment will reduce the number of people who escape parking infringement penalties because of their interstate registration status.

A further problem for the Australian Federal Police has been the number of incidences in which people who have been charged with drink driving offences have been caught for a similar offence shortly afterwards. An amendment to the Act is provided to allow the police to hold a motor vehicle until such time as the person can drive with safety and not exceed the prescribed blood alcohol content, or the police can release the vehicle to a responsible person.

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