Re: [messengers] Bikes in the LA news...

Date: Wed Jan 13 10:28:13 2010
From: Michael Dodd <mikeydodds@xxxxxxxxx>

Who's speaking at these city hall meetings?

Dennis Zine spoke about motor vehicles, not cyclists he seemed to turn a
blind eye to the fact that Men, Women and Children all have a right to use
public streets without having to fear for their lives and he certainly
seemed to ignore the fact that motorists and cyclists are capable of

It seems a lot of Europe is leading the way in regards to Vulnerable Road
Users legislation. As far as liability goes it needs to be acknowledged that
everyone makes mistakes but the motorvehicle always hurts the cyclist. If
people want to drive a more dangerous Vehicle they should be taking more
responsibility when accidents occur.

The amendment to the Australian Crimes Act requires the vulnerability of a
victim to be taken into account when sentencing.Vulnerability due to age, or
occupation, but vulnerability in the road environment  is not, yet it fits
the spirit of this legislation.

Perhaps that would be an avenue worth looking into.

Liability should be based on weight unless another road user jumps into the
path of a heavier vehicle.

Pedestrians have right of way over cyclists and motorists.

Cyclists have right of way of motorists.

etc etc.

This is a copy of some minutes held before Australian parliament on road
rage (some stuff might be worth quoting).

"Legislative Assembly Hansard of Tuesday, 20 May 1997 (Corrected Copy)


*Mr McBRIDE:* I ask the Minister for Roads what action the Government will
take to combat the growing incidence of road rage.

*Mr SCULLY:* I thank the Parliamentary Secretary for Roads for the question.
New South Wales leads Australia in road laws and road safety. The Government
imposes the strongest penalties for a wide range of offences, including
drink-driving and speeding. This year the Government has pioneered a
targeted doubling of demerit points for speeding in a bid to cut road deaths
and injuries. Today I give details of Australia's most comprehensive package
of measures to tackle road rage. Road rage is a recent phenomenon. It
encompasses many forms of aggressive behaviour by drivers, from tailgating
and other forms of intimidatory driving to more menacing and even predatory
conduct. Such behaviour is totally unacceptable.

The Government's message is clear - a car is a form of transport, a way of
moving one's self, one's family and friends from one point to another. A car
is not a weapon. A car is not an object with which to intimidate, to
threaten, to alarm or to terrorise. Our roads are not dodgem car tracks or
speedways. Roads are not places for drivers to vent their frustrations on
other road users. Roads are not places where aggression is welcome. To
tackle road rage, to boost security and protection for all road users, the
Government has decided to introduce three new offences: first, a redefined
offence of menacing driving under the Traffic Act; second, a more serious
offence of driving with intent to menace, also under the Traffic Act; and,
third, more serious still, an offence of predatory driving under the Crimes

Menacing driving, as the law currently stands, is difficult to apply because
of the need to prove an offender's intention to menace. Driving behaviour
can be clearly seen to be menacing, but currently there is no offence unless
the intention can be established. To overcome this, the Government will
introduce a new offence of menacing driving under which intent need not be
proved. The new offence will apply if a person should have foreseen that his
or her menacing actions could frighten another person, and, in fact, did so.
For a first offence, menacing driving will have a maximum penalty of a fine
of $2,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment. For subsequent offences these
penalties will increase to $3,000 and/or 18 months imprisonment.

An example of menacing driving would be when a vehicle is driven very close
to the vehicle in front, perhaps accelerating and braking suddenly, and
where a reasonable driver would have refrained from the activity because of
its potential to frighten the driver in front. Commonly referred to as
tailgating, this can be very frightening in certain circumstances. The
Government believes that where intention to menace is proved, harsher
penalties should apply. The maximum penalties for the offence of driving
with intent to menace will be, for a first offence, a fine of $3,000 and/or
two years imprisonment; and, for subsequent offences, a fine of $5,000
and/or three years imprisonment.

*Mr Hartcher:* On a point of order. Again the Minister is outlining
Government policy to the House. In this case he is outlining matters which
he intends to introduce into Parliament, including
Page 8830
amendments to Acts of Parliament, which will be debated at the appropriate
time. This is not a matter of implementation, as you ruled an earlier matter
to be, Mr Speaker. This is a matter of outlining Government policy to the
House. Accordingly, it is a ministerial statement.

*Mr SPEAKER:* Order! The point of order taken by the honourable member for
Gosford goes to the heart of standing orders. However, in some cases it is
difficult for the Chair to determine whether a Minister is speaking about
policy or a change to existing legislation. In the present circumstances the
Minister is bringing the attention of the House to changes to existing
legislation and, therefore, his answer is in order.

*Mr SCULLY:* The current maximum penalty for menacing driving is a $1,500
fine and/or nine months imprisonment for a first offence, and $2,000 and 12
months subsequently. Despite the strong stand on driving with intent to
menace, the Government believes a further category is required for more
serious offences. We have therefore decided to create an offence of
predatory driving, partly modelled on provisions relating to intimidation
under the Crimes Act. The maximum penalties for predatory driving will be:
for a first offence, a fine of $5,000 and/or four years imprisonment; for
subsequent offences, a fine of $10,000 and/or five years imprisonment.

Predatory driving would occur when the driving of a vehicle is intended to
cause injury to another person or to damage property. An example of
predatory driving would be a persistent course of conduct where a driver
intends to do harm to another person, perhaps in response to what he or she
perceives to be inappropriate action by another driver. For instance, this
could be by continual tailgating, flashing of lights, overtaking and then
slowing suddenly - behaviour akin to stalking with a motor vehicle. All
three offences will involve automatic licence disqualification unless a
court otherwise orders. Automatic disqualification will be three years for a
first offence and five years for a second offence.

I also want to make it clear that these new measures will not be the sole
category of offences involving motor vehicles. More serious offences
involving assault, injury or death - in which a motor vehicle happens to be
the weapon used - will continue to be treated not simply as road offences
but, under the Crimes Act, as serious crimes in their own right. As with all
road safety measures, there needs to be balance between offences, penalties
and education. In conjunction with the new offences I have announced today,
the RTA will continue its strong "sharing the road" campaign. This campaign
is aimed at improving community understanding of the needs and obligations
of all road users, and encouraging restraint on the roads. The Government is
committed to making our roads safer. The new offences announced today will
make a significant contribution to that task. Drivers, particularly women
drivers, can feel intimidated on our roads. These new measures will provide
increased protection for drivers.

*Mr Peacocke:* On a point of order. This argument is an extremely dolorous
expatiation and is extremely prolix. On that ground and matters affecting
perspicacity I ask that you direct the Minister to draw his answer to a

*Mr SPEAKER:* Order! The honourable member has convinced me: the Minister
will draw his answer to a close.

*Mr SCULLY:* The measures will also provide a greater level of security for
the wider community, for families travelling together, for other passengers,
for pedestrians and for cyclists. I look forward to all honourable members,
including the honourable member for Dubbo, supporting this initiative

Legislative Council Hansard of Friday, 27 June 1997 (Corrected Copy)


*Second Reading*

*The Hon. M. R. EGAN* (Treasurer, Minister for Energy, Minister for State
and Regional Development, Minister Assisting the Premier, and Vice-President
of the Executive Council) [2.55 p.m.]: I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to have my second reading speech incorporated in *Hansard*.

Page 11321

*Leave granted.*

Mr President,

The purpose of this Bill is to introduce a comprehensive package of measures
to address Road Rage.

Road Rage is a new phenomenon both overseas and in Australia. It is, as
Honourable Members will be aware, a matter of serious public concern.

Road Rage is a term which encompasses many forms of frightening,
intimidatory and aggressive behaviour by drivers.

Recently, responsible and law abiding members of the general community have
begun to fear what should be an everyday routine event - driving on a public

The package of measures includes serious offences to deter and deal with
Road Rage. The legislation before the House aims to improve the safety and
protection of NSW drivers from those unable to control their emotional
responses arising out of a traffic incident.

The Government has moved swiftly to send the strongest message - that Road
Rage will not be tolerated on NSW roads. Those drivers who through
deliberate, reckless or irresponsible driving frighten responsible and
law-abiding motorists will be severely dealt with.

The Bill provides for two menacing driving offences in the Traffic Act.

Firstly, "menacing driving" -

Where the driver ought to have known that another person might be menaced.

This offence has been created as the offence of menacing driving with
intent, which I refer to shortly does not cover situations on the road
where, although intent may not be established, any reasonable person would
have known that their actions might menace another driver.

"Menacing driving" will apply where a person drives in a manner which
menaces another and where the driver ought to have known that the other
person might be menaced.

This new provision is designed to protect drivers from being subjected to
frightening and intimidatory driving.

An example of this behaviour is where a vehicle is being driven very close
to the vehicle in front, perhaps accelerating hard and then braking
suddenly. A reasonable driver would refrain from this behaviour because of
the potential to frighten the driver in front.

Such behaviour, commonly referred to as "tailgating" is both frightening and
dangerous. No reasonable driver would be unaware of the effect of this

Of course, this new offence will require a person to be actually menaced.

The Bill proposes a penalty for a first offence of $2,000 and/or 12 months
gaol and $3,000 and/or 18 months gaol for a subsequent offence.

Secondly, "menacing driving with intent" -

There is a similar existing offence under the Traffic Act of "menacing
driving". This offence is one by which the person drives a motor vehicle in
a manner that menaces another person and the person intended to menace that
other person.

Existing penalties under the current Act for a first offence of $1,500
and/or 9 months gaol are clearly inadequate and do not reflect community
concern about this behaviour.

Accordingly the Bill provides for a doubling of these penalties to $3,000
and/or 18 months gaol.

The penalty for a subsequent offence are also substantially increased to
$5,000 and/or 2 years gaol.

To deal with the most serious incidents of Road Rage, a new offence of
"predatory driving" has been created.

The predatory driving offence is committed where a driver pursuing or
travelling near another vehicle engages in a course of conduct that causes
or threatens impact with the other vehicle and intends to cause a person in
that vehicle actual bodily harm.

In some circumstances it could be seen as akin to stalking with a motor

I emphasise that impact is not necessary. A drivers vehicle does not need to
be hit for that person to have a very real feeling that they could suffer a
crippling injury or death.

An example of predatory driving may be where a driver, perhaps in the course
of a pursuit, in order to prevent another driver from completing a merging
manoeuvre swerves at the other driver's vehicle, perhaps running it off the
road. This is dangerous and life threatening behaviour.

Reasonable drivers within the community should be protected from these
frightening, intimidatory and aggressive forms of behaviour which can result
in death or permanent injury. The Government is committed to making NSW
roads the safest in the world. There is no place for aggressive, often life
threatening behaviour on our roads.

The penalties to deal with and deter menacing and predatory driving reflect
the seriousness of the offences.

I will detail those penalties shortly.

I have informed the House that the maximum penalties for intentional
menacing driving have been significantly increased. The Government offers no
apology for this.

The maximum penalties which I have outlined for the new lesser offence of
menacing driving where it is not required to prove intent are substantially
higher than the current penalties for the existing menacing driving offence.

In framing these penalties the Government has sought to reflect community
concern about such unacceptable driver behaviour while ensuring that the
penalties remain consistent with the hierarchy of penalties for other
serious traffic offences.

A relevant example is the existing offence of dangerous driving causing
grievous bodily harm. Currently the maximum term of imprisonment for the
offence, when heard summarily, is eighteen months.

Page 11322

It must be kept in mind that the three offences I am referring to in this
Bill can occur even though there is no actual physical injury caused.

Turning specifically to "predatory driving" the Bill provides a maximum
penalty, where a matter proceeds by indictment, of five years gaol and /or
$100,000 fine regardless of whether it is a first or subsequent offence.

If a predatory driving offence is heard summarily by a magistrate the
maximum penalties will be 18 month gaol and/or a $10,000 fine consistent
with other serious traffic offences.

Mr President, these are very significant penalties.

And persons committing these offences can additionally, subject to the order
of the Court, face licence disqualification of 3 years if they have not
committed a major traffic offence in the preceding 5 years, and 5 years
disqualification if they have.

Honourable Members, this Bill is a timely response to address the problem of
Road Rage. It represents a decisive, but measured and considered response
which aims to ensure that the community is adequately protected.

But this does not mean that the Government has closed the case on Road Rage.
We recognise the need to educate the community to share the road safely.
Motor vehicles, heavy vehicles, buses, taxis, motor cycles, pedestrians and
bicycles must all share the road safely.

The Government is currently implementing the "Sharing the Road" Campaign to
improve knowledge of road rules and the correct use of traffic facilities
and to promote positive and courteous behaviour. The Government has also
requested the STAYSAFE Committee to examine the wider ongoing issue of Road
Rage and how to improve driver behaviour.

This legislation will send out a message to the public and especially those
drivers likely to behave in irresponsible and frightening behaviour behind a
wheel that Road Rage will not be tolerated. I commend it to the House.

*The Hon. JENNIFER GARDINER* [2.55 p.m.]: The Opposition does not oppose the
bill. The bill has as its first objective to increase the penalty under the
Traffic Act for intentional menacing driving from a first offence penalty of
$1,500 and/or nine months imprisonment to $3,000 and/or 18 months
imprisonment, and for a second offence to increase the penalty to $5,000
and/or two years imprisonment. The bill also creates a second lesser offence
of driving in a manner that the driver ought to know might be menacing. For
this new offence the penalty will be $2,000 and/or 12 months imprisonment
for a first offence. The penalty increases to $3,000 and/or 18 months
imprisonment for a second offence.

The bill also creates a new indictable offence under the Crimes Act of
predatory driving. That offence will carry a penalty of $10,000 and/or 18
months imprisonment in prosecutions dealt with by way of summary trial, and
$100,000 and/or five years imprisonment in matters dealt with by a jury.
Menacing driving with intent is already an offence under the Traffic Act. It
requires proof of intent to menace, and the bill increases the penalty for
that offence. The new offence that is created by this bill, that of driving
in a manner that a driver ought to know is menacing, involves driving in a
menacing way and in a way which the driver knows perfectly well is menacing
to another driver on the road.

Driving in a way that involves dangerous behaviour, such as tailgating,
improper flashing of lights, which I know my colleague the Hon. D. J. Gay is
very concerned about, or overtaking and suddenly slowing down would be
covered under the new provision. As a frequent traveller on New South Wales
roads, particularly on major highways such as the Hume Highway where this
sort of phenomenon can be extremely disturbing, given the speeds at which
people normally travel on major freeways, I welcome that provision. In cases
of those types of dangerous or menacing driving, proof of actual intention
will not be required under this legislation. The offences relating to
menacing driving, menacing driving with intent and driving in a manner that
a driver ought to know is menacing will carry periods of disqualification
from driving for three years, subject to the order of the court, and where
no other major traffic offence has been committed in the past five years.

If another major traffic offence has been committed in the past five years,
the disqualification period will be for five years. The new offence,
predatory driving, is akin to stalking with a motor vehicle. Predatory
driving is driving while pursuing or driving near another vehicle and when a
driver engages in a course of conduct that causes or threatens impact with
another vehicle, and when there is intention to cause bodily harm. In
certain cases a summary trial for this offence will be allowed and the
penalties for cases involving summary trials are consistent under this
legislation with dangerous driving causing actual bodily harm or death, that
is, 18 months imprisonment. If the matter is dealt with by way of a jury
trial, the legislation provides harsher penalties of up to $100,000 in fines
and/or five years imprisonment.

The Opposition will not oppose the bill. However, we are critical of the
penalty provisions contained in it, which we believe to be inadequate. The
proposed penalties send a message to the community that some of the elements
of menacing driving are not taken seriously by the Government. The bill
fails to deal with carjacking, and that is another shortcoming. Last year
the Premier, Mr Carr, undertook to ensure that severe penalties for
Page 11323
carjacking would be introduced following some serious incidents on New South
Wales roads. Penalties for carjacking should have been included in the bill.
This is just another example of the Government's broken promises. The
Opposition is disappointed about certain deficiencies in the bill, but at
least it is a step in the right direction. We will not oppose the bill.

*The Hon. D. J. GAY* [3.01 p.m.]: I support the bill, but I am concerned
that it treats the result rather than the cause. I do not applaud road rage
and the situations covered by the bill. However, I applaud the Government
for addressing these issues, even though the causes of road rage remain. The
bill refers to menacing and predatory drivers, but it does not refer to
stupid and selfish drivers - drivers who cause people to lose their cool,
including people who drive in the right-hand lane on a freeway or tollway,
where the traffic is allowed to travel at 110 kilometres an hour, and sit
beside another car that is travelling at 90 kilometres or 100 kilometres an
hour. If we are going to be fair dinkum about road rage, we have to look at
the causes as well as the result. I would be happier if the bill treated
stupid, arrogant and selfish drivers the same as it treats menacing and
predatory drivers.

Another example is people who feel that it is their God-given right to have
their lights on high beam. These people fail to dip their lights as they
pass other cars, which is against the law. Other motorists are put into an
unsafe situation, particularly on a wet night when the high beam is glaring
through the window, reflecting off the windscreen. I now raise one of my
greatest concerns. During the sittings of Parliament I have to drive through
Sydney traffic on a daily basis. We have to rationalise cyclists, bicycle
couriers and cars. There is a problem with traffic in Sydney. Motorists are
frustrated when cyclists come between the lanes at traffic lights - and
often run their handlebars along the sides of cars and hit the mirrors -
then pull into the middle of the traffic as the lights change, and hold up
traffic until the next set of lights, where they hold up another set of
traffic. We have to address the correlation between cars and cyclists.

*The Hon. I. Cohen:* Get the cars off the road.

*The Hon. D. J. GAY:* The Hon. I. Cohen has made an unusually trite remark;
he is normally more sensible.

*The Hon. Ann Symonds:* He is just being frivolous.

*The Hon. D. J. GAY:* Yes, people are being frivolous. I am serious about
this. These sorts of situations make people lose their tempers. I do not
agree with them losing their tempers, but we have to remove the cause
wherever possible. We have to address the problems caused by courier bikes
on pedestrian crossings. I have been hit twice by courier bikes on
pedestrian crossings.

*The Hon. M. R. Egan:* It was probably your fault.

*The Hon. D. J. GAY:* It was not my fault! What a stupid comment from the
Leader of the Government. Couriers should not be riding bikes across
pedestrian crossings; they should be pushed across.

*Reverend the Hon. F. J. Nile:* They often go against the red lights as

*The Hon. D. J. GAY:* Yes, they go against red lights. We have to address
the slow cars in the fast lane; cars with their lights on high beam; and
courier bikes and cyclists that go through the middle of lanes, pull in
front and then hold up traffic.

*Reverend the Hon. F. J. NILE* [3.05 p.m.]: Call to Australia supports the
Traffic and Crimes Amendment (Menacing and Predatory Driving) Bill. The bill
will increase the existing penalty for the summary offence of intentional
menacing driving; create a similar summary offence of driving in a manner
that the driver ought to know might menace, with a lesser penalty; and
create an indictable offence of predatory driving, with a maximum penalty of
five years. We support the bill. Society already has problems with law and
order, domestic violence, drug abuse and so on. Now a new phenomenon has
emerged. A change in behaviour is occurring, which is serious. I hope the
bill will nip it in the bud before it becomes a major social problem. Road
rage is now a serious social problem in the United States.

Road rage is defined as behaviour where one driver acts angrily to other
drivers - cutting them off, tailgating, giving the finger, waving fists,
flashing lights, braking to get rid of tailgaters, et cetera. There is a
growing tendency among drivers in the United States - and a minority of
drivers in Australia - to change from being an average citizen to a Mad Max.
In the United States the rate of aggressive driving incidents - defined as
events in which an angry or impatient driver tries to kill or injure another
driver after a traffic dispute - has
Page 11324
increased by 51 per cent since 1990. In those cases, 37 per cent of the
offenders used firearms, 28 per cent used other weapons, and 35 per cent
used their cars. Irresponsible drivers are turning their cars into suburban
assault vehicles.

In a United States poll of residents of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington,
DC, aggressive driving was listed as a bigger concern than drink-driving. In
the United States an AAA study found that since 1990 there had been 218
fatalities directly attributable to enraged drivers. This legislation is
needed, even though some people may feel that road rage is only a relatively
minor problem. I believe it is a serious problem. If it is not discouraged
now, it may become common practice and even be accepted. Such behaviour is
totally unacceptable. This bill will help to bring the message home loud and
clear to irresponsible drivers, even though they are a minority.

*The Hon. M. R. EGAN* (Treasurer, Minister for Energy, Minister for State
and Regional Development, Minister Assisting the Premier, and Vice-President
of the Executive Council) [3.08 p.m.], in reply: I thank honourable members
for their contributions to the debate. I commend the bill to the House.

*Motion agreed to.*

Traffic Amendment (Penalties And Disqualifications) Bill - Extract from
Legislative Assembly Hansard of 21/05/98


*Bill introduced and read a first time."*

On Wed, Jan 13, 2010 at 2:39 AM, Jim Cadenhead <shortyjim@xxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:

> Here's the link-  We've been
> working hard out here for some recognition.  If you live in LA, you should
> come to some of these City Hall meetings:  we need to have a larger presence
> where we live and work...
> Word.
> -Jim C
> Orange 20 Bikes
> _________________________________________________________________
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