Increase fines for stupid drivers: OPINION

21st March 2017 6:25 AM
SES on scene art Lindendale after a call for help at a flooded crossing. SES on scene art Lindendale after a call for help at a flooded crossing. Marc Stapelberg

IT'S time for the State Government to raise fines for people who drive through flood waters.

Despite numerous warnings and a major media campaign NOT to dive through flood waters, some people continue to flirt with danger.

Police currently have the powers to fine drivers who risk, not only their own life, but those of the emergency crews who have to come to their rescue. But this amounts to only a few hundred dollars.

If it was raised to a minimum $5000 fine and automatic loss of licence for 12 months, I don't think we'd be getting so many cars getting caught in flood waters, do you?

Some common excuses coming back from drivers caught out seem to be: I knew the road well; I was in 4WD; I have done it before; I thought I could make it; I just wanted to get home other drivers were doing it as well.

If we want to stamp out drivers doing death defying stunts in family sedans, it is time to make driving through flooded creeks just the same as drink driving or driving under the influence of drugs.

Because it is a total abdication of responsibility to say drivers aren't aware of the issues of driving in such dangerous conditions.

Until there is an incentive to do otherwise, we will continue to see stupid behaviour on our roads.

Local politicians did make some noises about doing something about this issue after the last major rain event. Now is the time to ramp up that campaign.