Home' Horizons : April-May 2010 Contents If you have any feedback regarding any of the stories in Upfront, send an email to the RAC at firstname.lastname@example.org
Calls for increased penalties
for drink driving offences
are becoming louder, with
RAC members backing tougher
measures in a recent online poll.
According to WA Police,
alcohol and/or drugs are a
significant causal factor in one in
every four fatal or serious crashes
on WA roads. Police figures also
indicate that more than one in
every three drink driving offences
involves a repeat offender.
More than 80 per cent of
respondents to the RAC poll
supported an increase in the
minimum suspension for drink
While the legal blood alcohol
limit across Australia is 0.05, the
minimum licence disqualification
for driving with a blood alcohol
content of 0.08 or above is
currently three months (learner
and provisional licence holders
must maintain a zero blood
In Victoria, South Australia and
New South Wales the minimum
disqualification is six months.
RAC Head of Member
Advocacy Matt Brown said
Western Australia's penalty
regime for drink driving was
out of step with best practice in
"We need a set of penalties
which send an unambiguous
message that it's not worth
getting behind the wheel if you've
been drinking," Mr Brown said.
"Significant numbers of
motorists continue to take that
chance and the high number of
repeat offenders indicates that
motorists don't take the current
penalty system seriously."
Mr Brown said a range of
measures could be considered,
including automatic licence
impounding or confiscation,
fitting of alcohol interlocks
on vehicles, or compulsory
rehabilitation programs for repeat
RAISE DRINK DRIVING
PENALTIES: RAC POLL
NEWS FROM THE MOTORING WORLD AND BEYOND.
RAC SLAMS REVENUE RAISING
Death trap cars are being
returned to Western
sometimes for the sake of a mere
$50 in revenue.
The cars had been impounded
as part of the crackdown on
unlicenced driving. When vehicles
are left unclaimed by their owners
they are auctioned by WA Police
to help recover costs.
While the RAC supports the
effort to get unlicenced drivers
off our roads, the vast majority of
the vehicles are older cars which
lack the basic safety features of
newer cars, such as airbags, ABS
and Electronic Stability Control.
RAC Head of Member
Advocacy Matt Brown said while
repairers attend the auctions to
source spare parts, some families
are now targeting the sales to pick
up cheap first vehicles for their
"These vehicles can be made
roadworthy under the law but
they are inherently unsafe and
offer little or no protection to
either the driver or passengers,"
Mr Brown said.
The RAC used its 2010/11 State
Budget submission to call for a
scheme to keep these vehicles off
the road, based on similar "cash
for clunkers" schemes operated in
Europe and the US.
The submission also calls on
the Government to begin funding
the Towards Zero Road Safety
Strategy, establish a Road Trauma
Victim Support Unit, provide
funds to clear the backlog of road
maintenance work and deliver
key new road infrastructure
projects such as the long overdue
Alexander Drive/Reid Highway
Car crashes are always a
stressful and confusing
time for those involved,
especially if the cars involved need
to be towed.
Often one of the first vehicles
truck, leading to questions such as
who should tow the vehicle, where
should it be taken, how much will
it cost and whether the cost will be
covered by insurance.
Many people are unaware
that, unless directed by the
police, they can refuse the first
tow truck driver on the scene
and call the RAC instead.
In Western Australia there is
no regulated cost for towing
fees and storage and release
charges, meaning that different
towing companies can charge
different fees. As such, RAC
members could end up paying
more than they have to.
In addition, some towing
operators require payment
before they will release a
vehicle to be assessed and repaired.
In some cases, the RAC has seen
charges in excess of $1000 to get
the car where the owner wants it.
RAC Insurance has a formal
arrangement with Autocare Towing
in the metropolitan area. RAC
insured members are advised to
always request this towing company
or alternatively call the RAC on
13 11 11 for assistance.
PHOTOGRAPHY: ABOVE: RIGHT: REPRODUCED COURTESY THE WEST AUSTRALIAN. RIGHT: ISTOCKPHOTO.
This Ford Meteor
sedan was sold for just
$175 at a recent auction
Links Archive June-July 2010 Navigation Previous Page Next Page