New pursuit laws
EVADING police can now be considered a serious crime after the Police Pursuits legislation was introduced to the NSW Parliament yesterday.
Police Minister Michael Daley said the Crimes Amendment (Police Pursuits) Bill 2010 will ensure those who attempt to evade police will face tough penalties for their risky and inherently dangerous behaviour.
“These changes, developed in close consultation with police, mean that those who lead police on high-speed chases will face jail sentences,” he said.
“There will be two new offences in addition to two existing offences relating to dangerous driving whilst participating in a police pursuit.”
With these new offences, the regime of ‘pursuit offences’ would be:
Failing to stop as directed by police – max penalty one year imprisonment – this is an existing offence.
Engaging police in a vehicular pursuit while driving furiously, recklessly, or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to the public – max penalty three years imprisonment – this is a new offence
Engaging police in a vehicular pursuit while driving in a manner dangerous to the public on a second or subsequent occasion (within five years of the first offence) – max penalty five years imprisonment – this is a new offence;
Aggravated offences of drive manner dangerous where the circumstance of aggravation is a police pursuit – max penalty 14 years (death) or 11 years (grievous bodily harm) – these are existing offences.
Mr Daley said the proposed new offences also attract the penalty of licence disqualification following conviction, consistent with the penalty for the offences of furious driving, reckless driving or driving at a speed or in a manner dangerous.