Page 1153 - Week 03 - Thursday, 31 March 2011

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I am disappointed by the minister’s response to this committee report, and I ask that the debate be adjourned.

Debate (on motion by Mr Smyth) adjourned to the next sitting.

Road Transport Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

Mr Stanhope, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Minister for Transport, Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, Minister for Business and Economic Development, Minister for Land and Property Services, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Minister for the Arts and Heritage) (10.32): I move:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The road transport legislation, which replaced the Motor Traffic Act 1936, has been operational now for a little over 12 years. In that time, the road transport legislation has for the most part operated quite well to establish an effective scheme for licensing drivers, registering vehicles, and promoting road safety and traffic management.

Since 1999, additional laws have been passed to provide for the regulation of public passenger services and heavy vehicles with additional mass, loading or dimension restrictions. This bill does not seek to make fundamental changes to the policies that underpin the road transport legislation. Instead, it makes technical or operational amendments to a range of existing provisions to ensure that they work more effectively to implement those policies. In some cases, the amendments fill unintended gaps in the legislation or provide essential clarity about the content of police powers.

The bill amends the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1999 to enable people who incur excessive demerit points who are subject to a period of licence suspension or licence ineligibility to make an election to be of good behaviour after the suspension or ineligibility period has commenced. Under the current provisions, the election to be of good behaviour for 12 months must be made before the suspension or period of licence ineligibility commences. The amendments allow the election to be made at any time before the suspension or ineligibility period ends, noting that the person will still be required to undertake a full 12 months of good behaviour whenever the election is made.

The amendments to the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1999 create a new offence in section 31A of driving while a person’s right to drive in the ACT has been suspended. The offence applies to persons who do not hold an ACT driver licence and whose right to drive in the ACT has been suspended by a territory law. The new offence replaces the offence in section 44(8) of the Road Transport (General) Act

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