On Tuesday (Feb 6)the new Road Traffic Bill, which will repeal and replace the existing 1938 Act, was passed in the House of Representatives.

The legislation was approved with 131 amendments. It establishes new offences, as well as provides increased penalties for breaches.

A notable inclusion is a restriction on handheld devices; and a requirement for drivers to have a licence in their possession while operating a vehicle.

Offences under the Bill include: driving without required motor vehicle insurance coverage ($20,000); driving a motor vehicle without being the holder of a permit or driver’s licence ($40,000); failure of driver to obey traffic light ($24,000); loud noises within silence zones and failure to wear a protective helmet ($5,000); failure to comply with traffic signs ($10,000); and failure to stop at pedestrian crossings ($12,000).

The Bill proposes that acceptable alcohol levels shall not exceed 0.02 per cent for regular drivers.

Drugs, other than alcohol, which are now not included, are intended to be provided for with the appropriate test and thresholds established in the Regulations.

“The maximum quantities of alcohol and other drugs that are to be included in the Regulations will be provided by the Minister of Health,” Minister Henry said.

The legislation will now go to the Senate where it is anticipated that its passage will receive the same level of support that was received in the Lower House.

Following its passage in the Senate, it will then be sent to the Governor-General for assent, after which it will be gazetted and passed into law.

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On Tuesday (Feb 6)the new Road Traffic Bill, which will repeal and replace the existing 1938 Act, was passed in the House of Representatives. The legislation was approved with 131 amendments. It establishes new offences, as well as provides increased penalties for breaches. A notable inclusion is a restriction on handheld...

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