Saturday, April 20, 2024

New Victorian law to target dangerous drivers

Victorian Minister for Police, Anthony Carbines says the safety of all Victorians is at the forefront of new legislation to be introduced into parliament today, with dangerous drivers to be targeted earlier and stronger safety controls placed on recreational firearms.

The Government will today introduce the Justice Legislation Amendment (Police and Other Matters) Bill.

”Our police do critical life-saving work each and every day and these reforms provide additional tools they can use to better protect us and themselves in the line of duty,” said Minister Carbines (pictured, left).

”We are doing our part to support the National Firearms Amnesty and make it easier for unlicensed firearms to be dealt with appropriately and safely.”

The Bill introduces new circumstances in which police can deploy vehicle immobilising devices (VIDs) such as road spikes and stop sticks to intervene to prevent and stop dangerous drivers earlier on. 

Currently police can only deploy a VID when they are trying to prevent a driver from escaping custody, avoiding arrest and stopping a moving vehicle in limited circumstances. 

The new powers will allow police to pre-emptively deploy VIDs where they have reasonable suspicion that a vehicle is a risk to the safety of the driver, a passenger, a police officer or another person. 

The Bill also strengthens firearm controls by placing a special condition on Category A or A&B long-arm firearm licences for hunting, sport or target shooting. This will prevent bolt-action shotguns being paired with large capacity detachable magazines which are not necessary for these recreational activities. 

To support the National Firearms Amnesty, the Bill will allow licensed firearms dealers to formally receive firearms from unlicensed people – encouraging people to hand them in without fear of being arrested and prosecuted. 

Separately the Bill will enhance Victoria Police’s disciplinary system by amending the Victoria Police Act 2013 (VPA) to expressly allow the Chief Commissioner of Police to issue a code of conduct that is binding on all Victoria Police personnel and failure to comply with the Victoria Police Code of Conduct (the Code) is a disciplinary action. 

The Code itself will not be written into the VPA, allowing it be a living document which can be updated in response to future community needs and stakeholder feedback without the need for legislative change. 

In addition, the Bill will extend the timeframe for when Victoria Police can charge a person for incorrectly accessing, using or disclosing police information inapropriately from 12 months to three years. 

This recognises the serious consequences that can flow from the misuse of sensitive police information, including the privacy and safety of members of the public, said Minister Carbines.

Latest Articles