Queensland’s proposed legislation, commonly referred to as “Susan’s Law,” is a significant step in addressing the challenges posed by reckless driving and its consequences. The initiative, led by Claudine Snow, aims to establish stricter penalties for individuals engaging in dangerous driving behaviours, particularly those who evade law enforcement and cause harm or fatalities on the roads.

What is Susan’s Law?

At the core of “Susan’s Law” is a commitment to justice and accountability. The proposed legislation seeks to impose harsher penalties, with individuals found guilty of dangerous driving, evading police, and causing harm or fatalities facing potential sentences of up to 20 years in prison. This represents a notable increase from current penalties and reflects the Queensland government’s determination to combat reckless behaviour on the roads. Additionally, the law aims to hold accountable those who flee the scene of a crash after causing harm, ensuring justice for victims and their families.

The momentum behind “Susan’s Law” stems from a tragic incident in December 2022, when Claudine Snow lost her mother, sister, and her mother’s partner in a collision caused by a reckless driver. 

As Queensland moves toward implementing “Susan’s Law,” it prompts reflection on road safety and the consequences of reckless behaviour. Beyond legislative changes, it underscores the collective responsibility to promote accountability and respect on the roads. Snow’s advocacy for stricter penalties for drivers evading police adds a personal narrative to the discussion and prompts debate on the efficacy of such measures in deterring dangerous behaviour and ensuring justice for victims.

Understanding Dangerous Driving Offences in Queensland

Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle is among the most severe driving offences in Queensland, carrying the potential for imprisonment for those found guilty. Unlike many other driving offences that exist under the Transport Operations Road Use Management Act, this constitutes a criminal offence under the Queensland Criminal Code. Instances of dangerous driving encompass various scenarios, including excessive speeding, impairment due to intoxication, or participation in unlawful speed contests or any combination of these acts. 

Defining Dangerous Driving

Operating a vehicle in a hazardous manner, regardless of whether injury occurs, constitutes an offence in Queensland. Even instances of speeding alone can qualify as dangerous driving depending on relevant factors. 

Penalties for Dangerous Driving

The penalty for a dangerous driving offence varies based on the specifics of the incident. Penalties hinge primarily on whether injury or death results from the driver’s actions which can cause the charge to become aggravated. Consequences can range from a fine to imprisonment of 14 years’ imprisonment.

Understanding Careless Driving

In Queensland, operating a motor vehicle on a road or elsewhere without due care and attention or without consideration for other road users constitutes an offence. The maximum penalty for careless driving can be up to $4000- or six-months’ imprisonment.

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