TOUGHER penalties for breaking road rules came into effect over the Melbourne Cup long weekend.
Under new road rules as part of Operation Furlong, drivers exceeding the speed limit by 25-35kph will now have their licences suspended for three months instead of one; the maximum penalties for unlicensed driving are now a $9500 fine or six months’ jail, and the maximum penalty for driving while disqualified is a $38,000 fine or two years’ jail.
Police are warning car owners to be careful who they lend their cars to because anyone who knowingly allows an unlicensed driver to drive faces a maximum $9500 fine or six months’ jail, and an employer who hires a driver who is unlicensed faces a maximum $3160 fine for individuals or $15,800 for body corporates.
New laws regarding vehicle impounds also took effect on 29 October. Leading Senior Constable Greg Wolfe, of Somerville Highway Patrol, said those found driving while unlicensed, suspended or disqualified can now have their vehicles impounded for a first offence, as can those driving without an alcohol interlock device.
The patrol impounded three cars during its weekend shift, 3-4 November: They were being driven by a 48-year-old Somerville man who had not held a licence for 10 years; a 42-year-old Hastings man who had never held a licence and a 58-year-old disqualified woman driver from Mornington. The drivers can all expect to be summonsed to appear at court at a later date.