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Letter from
Steven Worrell


Our family is in the same position you are. My wife was killed on the 30th June this year, by a probationary driver, speeding, who veered across the 3 lanes southbound on Nepean Hwy , across the median strip, catapulting in the air, taking out a metal light post and cannoning into my wifes car who was travelling in the northbound lanes, in peak hour.

People sympathise, send you condolences, but don't and won't understand what it's like to go through.

This person (and I use that term very loosely), lives locally as well. Her passengers played at the same footy and cricket clubs as my boys.

The charge : CARELESS DRIVING ! No court appearance, a fine up to $1,000.

This is the justice system in this State !

This person is still eligible to drive her car, receives more compensation through injury than my boys will ever get in a lifetime (not that money can change a thing) through the TAC system that treats us all as a number.

I still cannot get an answer from the police, politicians or prosecutors as to why this person isn't liable or accountable for her actions. She is still able to trundle off daily and get her physio or whatever.

She will also get to spend Xmas day with her family, while we sit here at home, going through the pain of it all.

You can write to Bracks, Hulls, whoever you like. They will try and justify "tough" laws that cannot be enforced by the police. So the laws they try to justify are not worth the paper.they are printed on.

The Law Institute also should be made accountable, in that they have input to modify laws and the framing of these laws with the Goverment.

We do not live in the back streets of a 3rd World country where life is cheap, but this system has nearly put us there.

From the Legislators, to the enforcers and right down to the offenders, the level of liability or accountability is minimal. It is the victims left to unravel all the pieces.

This is our justice system in this State.

I know Xmas will be a very sad time for you and your family, and likewise for us.

Steven Worrell



Letter from
Denis Stanes

Dear Peter,

I am a retired Sergeant of Police who was 'In Charge' of the Traffic Operations group/ Traffic Management Unit for South Gippsland between 1989 until I retired in September 2003.

Prior to my retirement, I put forward a submission through Police channels regarding the licensing of young drivers and in particular those drivers who choose to drive outside the traffic laws laid down in Victoria. The response was that "My suggestions were too tough." Following my retirement, I put forward a further submission to the Parliamenry Safety Committee, where I put forward further suggested alterations to the driver licencing system as follows:

Following the granting of a driver licence that a driver be issued with a 'Provisional Licence' for a period of 12 months. In that time, a provisional licence holder must attend an approved 'Defensive Driver' course (not Advanced) at the licence holders own expense. Once that course has been attended and passed, and at the end of the 12 month period, the licence holder then re-attends at Vicroads, and is then issued with a 'Probationary Licence' for 2 or 3 years. (Whichever).

That submission was sent to the Parliamentry Safety Committee in August 2004, and to date I have not been given the courtesy of a response, even to say that my submission was received.

Between 1997 & 2001 I developed and ran a 'Driver Training Program' at Korumburra Secondary College for year 10 students (15 & 16 years of age). The program basically touched on the theory & technical aspects of driving. This program ran well, and I believe this sort of program should be compulsory in all schools.

The behaviour shown on last weekend in Noble Park shows the disrespect that some young drivers have for the traffic laws. I believe, like you that changes have to be made to the driver licencing system, and the sooner the better.

I would be interested in talking to you further concerning this matter, should you wish to do so.


Denis Stanes




Letter from
J Kennedy

To Peter

I'm shocked to read how light-handed Victorian law is towards drivers
who strike pedestrians. I'm an Australian-American, Melbourne-born,
but currently living in the United States . I'm over here studying
law, and thought I'd enlighten you on how American Pedestrian
Protection laws function.

If this same incident had occurred in the United States, Mr. Franklin
would not have been charged with petty traffic offenses: rather, he
would have been charged with Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
(The higher charge of "Aggravated" because of his BAC level).

Similarly, if a motorist hits a pedestrian when that motorist had
"sufficient time to stop the vehicle, if the vehicle was driven at
the speed limit, or at a lower speed such that conditions would
merit", that motorist would be charged with Assault with a Deadly
Weapon (not aggravated assault). Such offenders tend to lose their
licenses for at least 5 years, are responsible for all costs arising
from the incident. In any case involving a pedestrian v. vehicle
collision, the motorist is subject to an immediate license suspension
pending investigation and court sentencing.

These tough pedestrian rights laws are reflected by the behavior on
the roads here. Drivers are much more courteous here than in
Victoria , and are particularly considerate and conscious around
shopping centres, schools and residential roads. A cursory look at
the road toll statistic breakdown suggests far fewer Pedestrian v.
Vehicle accidents per capita than in Australia .

I strongly believe that we need to start lobbying for similar laws in
Australia : why should there be a distinction between getting drunk,
driving recklessly and hitting a pedestrian versus getting drunk and
setting upon a person with a knife? I think that the "deadly weapon"
charge properly recognizes the reality of what a car is when used

Just my 2 cents

Best Regards,
J Kennedy.




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