M1 Traffic Restrictions

Truck drivers need to be aware that from, 1 August 2017, all trucks with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) over 4.5t will be restricted to travelling in the left 2 lanes in both directions between Springwood and Robina.  Penalties including fines and loss of demerit points will apply.

The restrictions are from the M1 motorway between exit 20 at Springwood and exit 82 Southbound and exit 79 northbound at Robina.  The rationale is that the measures will improve the traffic flow for the more than 152,000 vehicles using the M1 each day, particularly during the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

The Department of Transport will provide a report on the effectiveness of the measures following the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games on April 4 2018.  Queensland Trucking Association CEO, Gary Mahon is reported as saying that the measures are likely to continue beyond the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Owner Driver News.

Affected Trucks

A truck is defined as a vehicle that weighs more than 4.5t but does not include a bus.

The 4.5t relates only to the GVM and excludes any trailer attached to the vehicle.

For more detail see Qld Transport Restrictions

Penalties

Individual – Fine of $126.00 and 3 demerit points

Businesses – Fine of $630.00

Additional measures

  1. Use of the hard shoulder for vehicles carrying athletes and officials under police escort;
  2. Reduce speed limit from Eight Mile Plains to Logan Motorway interchange from 100km/h to 90km/h
  3. Reduce from Logan Motorway interchange to Smith Street exit from 110km/h to 100km/h
  4. Additional resources for breakdowns
  5. Temporary Ramp Management.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Disqualified Driving Sentence

Gatenby Criminal Lawyers LogoMollie Roper obtained an exceptional result for this mornings disqualified driving sentence.  Our client was charged with one count of disqualified driving and another count of disqualified driving whilst intoxicated.  The second offence was committed in the same week and while on bail for the original offence.

Our client was originally disqualified from driving for a high range drink drive charge.

Generally, for offending of this type a community based order and/or a period of imprisonment would be imposed.

After hearing extensive submissions made by Ms Roper the Magistrate sentenced the client to:

  1. A fine; and
  2. The minimum mandatory periods of disqualification.

While the mandatory disqualification period was still lengthy, the client  stayed out of jail and is able to maintain his employment and family commitments.

Sentencing Ranges

Disqualified driving is a serious offence and attracts a maximum penalty of up to $6,600.00 or imprisonment for up to 18 months.  As part of any disqualified driving sentence the Court must disqualify you from holding or obtaining a driver licence for a period of between two (2) and five (5) years.

As has been discussed earlier in our site, Queensland Magistrates are routinely imposing sentences of imprisonment for repeat disqualified driving offences and in circumstances where there is a circumstance of aggravation, such as drink or drug driving the prospects of imprisonment are increased.

Gatenby Criminal Lawyers provides an initial half hour appointment at no cost and we can provide you with specific advice about your disqualified driving sentence.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

 

 

New Traffic Laws and Increased Penalties for Cycle Offences.

New Traffic Laws Introduce Cycling Reforms.

Ciclisti al tourQueensland has new traffic laws following the introductions of the Transport Legislation and Another Regulation Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2014.  These new traffic laws are primarily aimed at addressing the road safety of cyclists by introducing a new minimum distance of up to 1.5 metres between any vehicle and a cyclist.  The offence is set to carry a maximum penalty of 40 penalty units and the loss of three (3) demerit points.

The new traffic laws follow the Parliamentary Transport, Housing and Local Government Committee  report “A new direction for cycling in Queensland”.  The report, released in November 2013, outlined recommendations designed to improve the interactions between cyclists and other road users.

Safety Reforms.

To increase safety for cyclists, the report  recommended that a minimum overtaking distance should be introduced.  The Committee noted a number of studies in Australia and in other jurisdictions have identified passing too closely (or side-swiping) as a frequent and significant factor in incidents resulting in death or serious injury to cyclists. This amendment regulation introduces a minimum passing distance for motorists passing a cyclist.

This regulation amends the Queensland Road Rules to provide that:

Motorists must leave a minimum distance of 1 metre between their vehicle and any cyclist they are overtaking on a road where the speed limit is 60 km/h or below and at least 1.5 metres where the speed limit is more than 60 km/h.

To facilitate these minimum passing distances, the amendments provide that a driver may straddle lane lines, drive to the right of the centre of the road (including crossing dividing lines) or drive on a painted island or dividing strip that is the same level as the road provided the driver has a clear view of any approaching traffic and it is safe to do so.

A breach of the new minimum passing distance requirement will carry a maximum court penalty of 40 penalty units.

If police issue an infringement notice roadside the Infringement Notice is a fine of three penalty units and three (3) demerit points.  This is a consistent penalty to offences of a similar risk including, for example, disobeying a red traffic light, failing to wear a motorbike helmet and entering a level crossing when a train is approaching.

Infringement Penalties

In its report, the Committee noted that “the current imbalance between cyclists and other vehicle drivers in relation to infringement penalties warrants review”. It commented that there is significant potential for cyclists to endanger other vulnerable road users and do harm to themselves. It recommended that the penalties for road rules offences for cyclists should be increased to the level that applies to motorists where the potential to endanger other road users is greatest (Recommendation 31).

This amendment regulation implements and, for simplicity, extends that recommendation by providing that:

  1. where cyclists currently receive a lower infringement notice fine than motorists for any road rules offence, the fine for cyclists will be increased to the level that applies to motorists; and
  2. where the offence can only be committed by a cyclist and the current infringement notice fine is less than one penalty unit, the fine will be increased to one penalty unit.

Loss of licence.

If you have lost your licence through an accumulation of demerit points and will suffer special hardship as a consequence of these new traffic laws, you may be eligible for a Special Hardship Order.  To find out more about a special hardship order, read on further in the traffic law section of our website, or contact our experienced traffic lawyers for advice.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Life imprisonment for so called “Coward Punches”

Qld criminal Laws

New offence set to attract life imprisonment.

The Government today outlined its new coward punch laws and other increased penalties under its draft ‘Safe Night Out Strategy.  In what seems to be a theme of the current government’s legislative platform, existing charges are to be replicated with newly created offences and penalties increased.  The government has adopted the big stick approach by increasing the maximum penalty for drunken behaviour in an effort to deter outrageous drunken violence.  The problem with this approach is that young, drunken, predominately men, are unlikely to consider the outcome of their actions whilst drunk and accordingly, unlikely to think about the massive penalties the government proposes to roll out.

Coward Punch Laws

The so called ‘coward punch’ deaths will be punishable through a new offence of ‘Unlawful striking causing death’, punishable by a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, with the offender required to serve 80 per cent of their sentence of imprisonment before being able to apply for parole. We look forward to looking at the specifics of the charge to determine where it differs from Manslaughter.

Penalties to rise.

  1. Aggravated serious assaults on public officers, such as ambulance officers, will go up from 7 years to 14 years imprisonment.
  2. On-the-spot fines for causing a public nuisance will go up to $660 or a maximum fine of $2,750 or six months in prison.
  3. On-the-spot fines for refusing to leave licensed premises will go up to $550 or a maximum fine of $5,500.
  4. Penalties for obstructing police will go up to $6,600 or 12 months in prison.
  5. Penalties for using anabolic steroids will be strengthened to make sure they are similar to the heavy penalties that already apply to other dangerous drugs such as methamphetamine and ecstasy.

Key elements:

  1. The establishment of 15 Safe Night Precincts with local boards to safely and effectively manage key entertainment areas across Queensland and continued funding of existing support services
  2. Compulsory alcohol and drug education would be introduced in all Queensland schools from Years 7 to 12
  3. Tougher penalties for people behaving badly or violently around licensed premises including increased on the spot fines for causing a public nuisance, refusing to leave licensed premises and obstructing police
  4. ‘Coward punch’ deaths will be punishable through a new offence of unlawful striking causing death with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and offenders required to serve 80% of their sentence before being able to apply for parole
  5. A 12 month trial of ‘sober safe centres’ in the Brisbane CBD where police can detain severely intoxicated people in a secure, supervised centre for up to eight hours
  6. Empowering police to issue banning orders and ensuring police have the resources to have a presence and ability to respond quickly to alcohol and drug related violence
  7. Stronger and better co-ordinated action to ensure licensees provide a safe environment and comply with liquor licensing rules, including ‘mystery shopper’ style tests
  8. Mandatory ID scanners in venues trading after midnight in ‘Safe Night Precincts’
  9. An awareness campaign, including advertising, to promote clear standards of responsible behaviour for patrons, licensees and police
  10. An extension of the moratorium on decisions about late night trading hours to 31 August 2014 to allow the measures in the action plan to be established and take effect.

To comment on the proposal, follow the link to the survey.

https://www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/gi/consultation/2004/view.html

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Penalty Unit Costs Set For Automatic Increase.

GCL Dollar1Penalties Units Set for Rise

The Penalties and Sentences (Indexation) Amendment Act 2013 was passed on 5 March 2014.  This legislation allows for the annual indexing of penalty units under the State Penalties Enforcement Act 1999 such that further legislation is not required to increase the penalty rate (unless an increase is to be above the indexed rate).

The value of a penalty unit will automatically increase each year at a rate to be published by the Treasurer and if no rate is published, by 3.5%.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

40 Cars a Day Being Seized Under QLD’s Hooning Laws

hooning40 Cars a day seized under Hoon Laws

Since 1 November 2013, police have proffered more than 7,800 charges under Queensland hoon laws for traffic offences including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, street racing, evading police and speeding at more than 40km/h over the legal speed limit.

New Hoon Laws

Under the new laws anyone caught doing burnouts, donuts, drifting or other hooning behaviour can have their vehicles taken off the road for three months.

Any follow-up offending within five years will result in the offender’s car being forfeited and sold or crushed.

Charges

Between November 1 and December 15 police alleged:

  1. 3100 charges for driving while unlicensed;
  2. 210 charges for speeding at 40km/h or more over the legal speed limit;
  3. 334 charges were handed out for evading police;
  4. 42 charges for dangerous operation of a vehicle;
  5. 43 charges of driving without due care and attention
  6. 4 charges of street racing; and
  7. 130 charges for doing burnouts.

Police have so far taken at least 634 vehicles off the road for the full three months while a further 189 are set to be either sold or crushed.

A further 940 drivers had their cars seized or their numberplates confiscated for a week after being charged with hooning offences.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Proposed Increased Penalties For Mobile Phone Offences

Police have a zero tolerance attitude to the use of Mobile Phones while driving.

Police have a zero tolerance attitude to the use of Mobile Phones while driving.

Qld Mobile phone laws

The State Government is considering new laws for mobile phone offences while driving. Motorists currently face fines of $330 and the loss of three demerit points if caught using a mobile phone while driving.

Motorists need to be aware that even if stationary at traffic lights the law still deems you to be in charge of the vehicle and you can be liable.  You are considered to be using the phone even if you are using a function other than making a call.  Texting, checking Facebook or surfing the web would all be offences.

Qld Road Safety Action Plan

Options discussed as a part of the Queens­land Road Safety Action Plan 2013-15 include:

  • Increasing the penalty from $330.00 to $430.00; and
  • Increasing the loss of demerit points from three to four points; and
  • Imposing a loss of six demerit point for motorists caught twice within a year.

Statistics show that there were more than 110,000 mobile phone fines issued between 2010 and September 2103.

  • 2010   33,000
  • 2011   30,000
  • 2012   28,700
  • 2013   19,000 to September.

As traffic lawyers regularly appearing in relation to traffic matters our advice is to ensure that you have installed a blue tooth device, or preferably place your mobile phone in the boot or glove box prior to starting your car.  The consequences of a distracted driver can be catastrophic.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

NEW PENALTIES FOR HOONING.

hooningNew Penalties for driving offences

New anti-hooning and road safety legislation came into effect today.  The penalties for offending are far more significant that those previously imposed.  Offences are broken into two categories, Type 1 and Type 2. The penalties are dependant on the type of offence and a Defendants Traffic and Criminal History.  The new legislation can be categorised as follows:

Type 1 offences:

  • 90 day vehicle impoundment for first offence such as:
    1. dangerous operation;
    2. careless driving such as burn-outs or drifting;
    3. racing,
    4. speed trials; and
    5. evade police.
  • Towing and storage of impounded vehicle is at the driver’s expense.
  • Vehicle liable for forfeiture for second offence.

Type 2 offences:

  • Infringement notice, notice to appear or arrested for first offence such as:
    1. unlicensed driving,
    2. high range drink driving,
    3. exceeding speed limit by more than 40km/hr,
    4. driving a vehicle that is both uninsured and unregistered, and
    5. non-compliance with vehicle standards and safety regulations.
  • Your vehicle will not be impounded or immobilised for a first offence.
  • 7 day impoundment or immobilisation for second offence.
  • 90 days impoundment or immobilisation for third offence.
  • Vehicle liable for forfeiture on subsequent offence.

Appeal provisions include:

  • Under certain circumstances the owner or usual driver of the impounded or immobilised vehicle may make application to the Commissioner of Police for early release (e.g. severe hardship, offence occurred without owners’ consent).
  • Drivers committing first Type 2 offence will be provided with information regarding consequences of committing further offences.

Type 1 offences include:

Any of the following four offences committed in circumstances which involve a speed trial, a race between motor vehicles or a burn out:

  • Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle;
  • Careless driving;
  • Organising, promoting or taking part in racing or speed trial;
  • Wilfully starting or driving a motor vehicle in a way that makes unnecessary noise or smoke;
  • Evading Police.

Type 2 offences include:

  •  Driving a vehicle while it is uninsured and unregistered.
  • Unlicensed driving.
  • High-range drink driving – 0.15% and over.
  • Exceeding the speed limit by more than 40km/h.
  • Driving an illegally modified vehicle not complying with prescribed sections of vehicle standards and safety.
  • Failure to supply a specimen of breath or blood.
  • Driving while under a 24 hour suspension.

Drivers and owners of vehicles involved in alleged offences of this kind need to obtain urgent advice from an experienced traffic lawyer.  Gatenby Criminal Lawyers are traffic and Criminal Law experts, we are situated at Coomera, opposite the Gold Coast District Traffic Branch.  We are able to provide you with specific advice for your traffic law query.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Increased penalties for QLD Stock Offences

stock penaltiesThe minimum fines for stock offences have increased from $200 to $1100 per animal or the value of the animal, whichever is the higher amount.

Other amendments to the legislation will benefit investigating authorities and primary producers by:

  1. Empowering police to effectively investigate stock crime by extending stock-related search warrant durations from 7 to 21 days
  2. Modernising evidentiary requirements in stock offence prosecutions
  3. Maintaining the ability of police to immediately return cattle to victims of crime where there is no dispute as to ownership
  4. Streamlining the disposal process where there is a dispute as to ownership, allowing the stock to be sold pending an order from the Court to distribute the funds at the conclusion of proceedings
  5. Under the new laws, the Court can order the return of cattle when stock has strayed onto a person’s property and the land owner refuses to move the cattle,” he said.

If you are being charged with a stock offence and require legal representation, call Gatenby Criminal Law on (07) 5580 0120 or contact us immediately.

COMMONWEALTH PENALTY UNIT

On 28 November 2012, the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Serious Drugs, Identity Crime and Other Measures) Bill 2012 received royal assent.

Penalty Increase

This act increases the value of a penalty unit from $110 to $170.00 and requires the value of a penalty unit to be reviewed every three (3) years. The value of a penalty unit has not increased since 1997. The change affects the value of a penalty unit in most Commonwealth laws, including the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

The new value of a penalty unit applies where the matter at giving rise to the penalty occurs on or after 28 December 2012.