LAW CHANGED: Tribute to families after Walkers Law passes
QUEENSLAND'S Parliament has passed Walkers Law, increasing the punishment for drivers whose careless driving kills and maims innocent people.
The petition for Walkers Law was started by Bundaberg women Kerri Walker and Trisha Mabley after their adult children were involved in a horror smash on Easter Monday last year.
Mrs Walker's children, Sarah and Daniel, were killed in the Bruce Highway crash while Mrs Mabley's son, Peter Knowles, survived but suffered life-threatening injuries.
The driver who caused the crash, Donald George Gayler, was handed a $3000 fine and lost his licence for three months.
Burnett MP Stephen Bennett, who championed their cause, was thrilled with yesterday's outcome.
"I would like to pay tribute to the Walker family, and their supporters for their ongoing efforts to advocate for stronger Queensland laws for negligent driving causing death or grievous bodily harm," Mr Bennett said.
"Their strength, determination and commitment for change is why we will see lives saved on our roads.
"I have no doubt that the behaviour on our roads will change as a result of these new laws.
"This is a great day for democracy and is proof that people power can and does work."
Earlier yesterday, Mr Bennett urged colleagues to support stronger laws for negligent driving causing death or grievous bodily harm.
"I stand here in this house deeply saddened...," he began as he delved into the turmoil that had become Mrs Walker and Mrs Mabley's lives since that fateful day last year.
In his speech, Mr Bennett spoke of the 8100 signatures the petition had gained demanding change since the crash.
"The current laws are not strong enough ... I think there is more to be done," he said.
Last week, he spoke about how Mrs Walker and Mrs Mabley were the driving force behind the push.
"The family has made this government sit up, listen and admit that our current laws concerning careless and dangerous driving are not strong enough."