Victoria’s worst drivers tracked by ‘black box’ under Bicycle Network plan

Aleks Devic
heraldsun.com.au

OUR worst drivers would be tracked by “black box” GPS ­devices fitted to their cars under a radical plan proposed by a cyclists’ lobby group.

Under the Bicycle Network’s road safety plan, drivers caught using their mobiles, speeding, or disobeying traffic signals would also be sent to a reform school for counselling.

Some drivers would be ­assessed on a supervision program and trained.

In the cases of the worst drivers, technology would be fitted to their cars which could override their behaviour.

This could include lane support systems, to stop cars veering into bike lanes and road shoulders, and autonomous emergency braking.

The plan is to be given to Victoria Police, VicRoads and the Transport Accident Commission for consideration.

The Bicycle Network’s plan also proposes allowing repeat offenders to accumulate only six, or even three, demerit points over a three-year ­period, rather than the current 12 points, depending on how many times they have lost their driving licences.

“Past behaviour is going to be an indicator of future behaviour, and we can’t just wipe the slate clean and let them start again,” Bicycle Network chief executive officer Craig Richards told the Herald Sun.

Mr Richardssaid tougher road licensing laws were required so serial driving offenders were not “let loose”.

“You might say it’s an extreme measure. But these are extreme circumstances and the consequences are severe for a victim’s family and tragic for the victim,” he said.

“There has to be a point where we take control out of a person’s hands because it is too late after they have killed someone.”

The push for change to road licensing has been spurred by the sentencing last month of a woman who killed a cyclist in a hit-run.

The driver, who also had her young son with her in the car, had a record of more than 30 driving offences.

TAC statistics show 10 cyclists died on our roads in 2014 and another 10 last year. In the past 12 months, 278 cyclists have required hospital treatment for road crash injuries.

Under the Bicycle Network’s proposal, drivers who have lost their licence three times, or who had a major rap sheet, would have a “black box” GPS tracker installed in their cars which could alert authorities if they were being menaces on the road.

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