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Friday, January 20, 2006

Another Simplistic Liberal Policy - Bryan Green, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Another Simplistic Liberal Policy - Bryan Green, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

The State Government says the Liberal Opposition has contradicted itself again with its naïve and impractical road safety measure of cut-rate drivers licences.

Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources Bryan Green said only a few weeks after declaring war on the size of the bureaucracy the Liberals have come up with an idea that would pose a bureaucratic nightmare.

“The Liberals Jenny Craig version bureaucracy would be hard pressed to marry up all the records required to be able to provide the very meagre discount.

“The greater anomaly in the idea is that by rewarding only people who don’t incur demerit points means drivers convicted of very serious offences like hooning, where vehicles are confiscated for a period but no points are incurred, or even causing death by dangerous driving could claim the discount.

“Efforts to improve road safety are focussing on changing bad behaviour, yet the Liberals’ initiative is aimed at the drivers who invariably do the right thing anyway.

“And for all that the benefit would be less than $6 for the average driver and less than $4 for pensioners who are often among the most experienced and careful drivers anyway.

“It’s hardly the windfall that would make some one reshape their view of the world.”

Mr Green said the Government, on the other hand, had consistently funded programs aimed at targeting offenders.

“This is where a concerted effort is needed because these are the drivers who cause road crashes.

“The Government has had in place since December 2002 a requirement for motorists to carry their licence when driving – a policy originally opposed by the Liberals - and also for some time a project to crack down on unregistered/uninsured vehicles.

“The combined effect of these initiatives has seen a marked decrease in the number of unlicensed, unregistered and uninsured vehicles on the roads.

“As for the Liberals’ suggestion that all speed camera revenue be directed into road safety initiatives, the Government already commits well in excess of the amount raised by road safety camera fines into road safety.

Mr Green said the Liberals’ suggestion that Tasmania should sign an agreement with the Federal Government to adopt a national compulsory P-plate driver education program was nonsensical, simply because there was no agreement to sign.

“Only trials are taking place in relation to such a proposal,” he said.

Mr Green said overall, the Liberals’ latest road safety policy was an insult to those hard-working policy officers and traffic engineers in his Department, the Tasmanian Road Safety Council, Road Safety Task Force, and Tasmania Police – all of whom were dedicated to reducing death and injury on Tasmanian roads.

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