NT to adopt tougher laws to hold killer drivers accountable

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TO THE HONORABLE THE SPEAKERS AND MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY YOUR PETITIONERS THEREFORE HUMBLY PRAY THAT:

We the undersigned urge the Northern Territory Government to amend current legislation or pass a law that prevents negligent, careless, reckless and dangerous drivers from being charged under the Australian Road Rules, therefore, evading sentencing under the Criminal Code or the NT Traffic Act for causing serious physical or mental impairment, grievous bodily harm and death of a person.

On the 14th of March 2018, 16-year-old Xavier Nicholas Lengyel was returning home on his motorcycle when he was struck and killed by a careless driver, Maxine Holden, who deliberately entered his lane and illegally crossed continuous dividing lines (double white lines) on the crest of a hill, with no visibility of oncoming traffic in attempt to overtake another vehicle. 

Subsequently, the Northern Territory Police found insufficient evidence to establish any of the endangerment or dangerous driving offences under both the Criminal Code and the NT Traffic Act.

Although the perpetrator also left the scene immediately after the head on collision and failed to render assistance to the victim, police found insufficient evidence to establish a hit and run under s174FA of the Criminal Code, insufficient evidence to establish a careless driving offence (drive without due care) or evidence to establish reckless and dangerous driving causing death. However, police did find sufficient evidence to charge the driver with breaching the Australian Road Rules, that is, crossing double white lines. The only penalty given as a result of such gross misconduct is a mere fine payable to the Northern Territory Government.

This sentencing is manifestly inadequate and has totally disregarded all physical elements of the circumstances, that the driver’s careless and deliberate actions directly caused the death of Xavier. Such legislation has resulted in a decision that is morally wrong, and has repeatedly allowed the families and friends of the victims who have died or been injured on Territory roads to suffer immensly. Therefore, current legislation must be amended to make certain that future loss of life through traffic violations by careless, reckless, dangerous and negligent drivers is not dealt with in such a dismissive manner.

There are already penalties for reckless and dangerous driving causing death under the NT Traffic Act, however under current laws, careless drivers are facing extremely minimal penalties. The NT government must implement new legislation for serious careless driving offences to address the gap in the law where the threshold for dangerous driving is not met.

Our son’s life is worth more than a couple hundred dollar fine. So, we ask you, is this justice?

If you don't believe it can be done, have a read of Western Australia's Road Traffic Act 1974 Section 59BA. Link below: 

http://www7.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/download.cgi/au/legis/wa/consol_act/rta1974111

YOUR PETITIONERS THEREFORE HUMBLY PRAY THAT our leaders act now to provide and enforce a law that protects the  

AND YOUR PETITIONERS, AS IN DUTY BOUND, WILL EVER PRAY CORRESPONDENCE.



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