Mum's fight for tougher penalties after son's crash pain

TRISHA Mabley's son had to learn how to walk again after he was seriously injured in a crash which claimed the lives of two of his closest friends.

Now she has started the fight for tougher penalties for those charged with driving without due care and attention after serious crashes.

Ms Mabley was in Maryborough Magistrates Court this week to see the sentencing of the man responsible for the crash that killed siblings Sarah, 30, and Daniel Walker, 22.

The crash also seriously injured her son, Peter Knowles, and Sarah's 14-year-old son, Sam.

Donald George Gayler, 66, was fined $3000 and had his licence suspended for three months after he was charged with driving without due care and attention as a result of the Easter Monday crash.

Ms Mabley said that wasn't good enough.

She is fighting for what she called Walkers Law, which would be in honour of Sarah and Daniel, and would mean harsher penalties for those who are charged with driving with due care and attention in cases which have resulted in death or serious injury.

"We need to change the laws," she said.

Fighting alongside her is the mother of Sarah and Daniel, Kerri Walker, and Sarah's fiance, Victor Bosley.

Both spoke out about the need for tougher penalties in the wake of this week's court sentencing, with Ms Walker saying they were "on a mission".

Ms Mabley has since started a Facebook page called Walkers Law to Change the Law.

More than 200 people have joined the group so far, many voicing their support to get the laws changed.

Ms Mabley said there is a gap in Queensland's legislation, with Mr Bosley adding there needs to be an upgraded charges of driving without due care and attention resulting in death.

Ms Mabley said the law already existed in other states.

Last year the Department of Transport and Main Roads confirmed it was currently reviewing the penalties for careless driving offences that resulted in death or grievous bodily harm.

A spokesman from the department said the government has not made a final decision on the progression of amendments.

"Timing of the decision is subject to government approvals and parliamentary processes," he said.

Following the inquest into the death of Mackay's Audrey Ann Dow, who was killed in a crash in July 2013, the State Coroner recommended including a circumstance of aggravation for drivers who caused death or grievous bodily harm in the commission of a careless driving offence.

Her daughter Angela Meiklejohn spoke to the Chronicle last year after reaching out to the family of Maryborough's Jo-Anne Fuller.

Ms Fuller was killed in a crash on the Maryborough-Hervey Bay Rd last year.

The 20-year-old driver involved in the crash was fined $1000 and was suspended from driving for four months after he pleaded guilty in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court to driving without due care and attention and driving with a license that had been suspended by SPER.



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