Page 1812 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 May 2013

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The bill also establishes a process for approving people to act as interlock installers and interlock service providers, who will install and service the interlock devices. Approvals will only be issued if the applicants satisfy strict eligibility requirements and demonstrate they have the skills, abilities and experience, as well as access to the necessary equipment, to perform the functions of the role. There are obligations placed on interlock installers and service providers to promptly notify the road transport authority that an interlock device has been improperly removed from a vehicle. Interlock installers or service providers must also comply with the requirement to ensure the interlock data is kept securely.

The bill includes a range of consequential amendments to other legislation, mostly relating to definitions and the insertion of new regulation powers in the principal act. More significant amendments are the insertion of a new offence relating to driving in breach of the interlock condition, which is inserted into the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Act 1999, and amendments to the Road Transport (General) Act 1999, which deal with the new power to stop and search vehicles to ensure the interlock devices are installed and operating properly.

The bill provides for a default commencement of 12 months. The intention is to have the scheme in place well before that date, but 12 months has been selected in order to cover the contingency that the implementation processes take longer than anticipated. These processes include approving the devices that may be installed, including the pricing arrangements for those devices; approving the people who may install and maintain them; working with the courts and ACT Health to develop protocols for sharing information relating to clients on interlock conditions with a therapeutic component; and developing the necessary training and public awareness materials associated with a major initiative of this type.

This bill is realistic in its appreciation that deterrence and education are valuable tools but have their limits where a driver’s behaviour is entrenched and the driver finds it difficult to make the right decisions without help.

For those drivers, we need to use other approaches, oriented towards rehabilitation and harm minimisation. Alcohol interlocks force them to separate their drinking and driving behaviours at a stage in their lives when they are unable to do that. Over time, and where necessary, with professional assistance, these drivers can potentially regain the skills and confidence they need to make better decisions, and ideally to separate their drinking and driving behaviours on a permanent basis. This bill will play an important part in the government’s ongoing efforts to make our roads safer for all road users. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

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

Justice and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 (No 3)

Ms Burch, on behalf of Mr Corbell, pursuant to notice, presented the bill, its explanatory statement and a Human Rights Act compatibility statement.

Title read by Clerk.

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