LAW CHANGE: Kerri Walker with portraits of her children Daniel and Sarah.
LAW CHANGE: Kerri Walker with portraits of her children Daniel and Sarah. Mike Knott BUN270917WALKER9

WALKERS LAW: Harsher penalties needed for crash offenders

A GRIEVING Bundaberg mother calling for harsher penalties for careless drivers now has the political backing of Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett.

Kerri Walker lost her children Sarah, 30 and Daniel, 22, when a car collided with their vehicle on Easter Monday near Tiaro.

The driver responsible for their deaths was fined $3000 and banned from driving just three months after being convicted in Maryborough Magistrates Court.

"I was absolutely devastated," Ms Walker said.

"It is just so wrong, it is all just too much sometimes."

Sarah and Daniel died after a BMW driven by Donald George Gayler, 66, collided with the Mazda 6 they were in on the Bruce Hwy.

The fiery crash also seriously injured Ms Walker's grandson, as well as family friend Peter Knowles who was travelling with the siblings.

Mr Knowles' mother Trisha Mabley sought Mr Bennett's assistance on behalf of the Walker family to ensure justice was served.

She said she was fighting for what she called Walkers Law and would seek the implementation of harsher penalties for negligent driving causing death or grievous bodily harm.

"We set up the petition to bring attention to some outdated laws in Queensland that we want to change and bring into line with other interstate laws", Ms Mabley said.

"The man who was responsible for killing two people and seriously injuring four others was fined a measly $3,000 and had his licence disqualified for just three months. How is that justice?

"Justice wasn't served whatsoever, and now we are on a mission to ensure the laws are changed to more appropriately reflect the seriousness of those offences."

 

LAW CHANGE: Kerri Walker and Trisha Mabley have created the petition Walkers Law after fatal crash killed siblings Sarah and Daniel Walker earlier this year.
LAW CHANGE: Kerri Walker and Trisha Mabley have created the petition Walkers Law after fatal crash killed siblings Sarah and Daniel Walker earlier this year. Mike Knott BUN270917WALKER10

It isn't the first time the serious issue has been brought to attention.

Following the inquest into the death of Audrey Ann Dow, who died from injuries sustained in a car crash after another vehicle collided head on with her own, the State Coroner recommended including a circumstance of aggravation for drivers who caused death or grievous bodily harm through careless driving offences.

Last year a Main Roads spokesman said the existing maximum penalties for careless driving was 40 penalty units ($4876) or six months' imprisonment.

The department confirmed it was reviewing the penalties for careless driving offences that resulted in death or grievous bodily harm.

A spokesman said the government had not made a final decision on the changes.

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

Ms Walker and Ms Mabley said they would continue to fight to get the laws changed and were hoping to get as many signatures as possible.

"People die on our roads every other day and no one is made liable for it... guilty people are getting off far too easily when they kill people," Ms Mabley said.

"We have to do something, we can't sit back and do nothing. The law has to change," Ms Walker said.

Sign the online petition at http://bit.ly/1to2oMs.

A paper petition is available to sign at the Burnett electorate office, See St, Bargara.

 

LAW CHANGE: Kerri Walker and Trisha Mabley with Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett.
LAW CHANGE: Kerri Walker and Trisha Mabley with Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett. Mike Knott BUN270917WALKER1

Community support needed

MEMBER for Burnett Stephen Bennett has joined the fight to change laws of how fatal crash offenders are penalised through the petition, Walkers Law.

Mr Bennett said he condemned the Palaszczuk Government for ignoring genuine warnings that a legislative gap existed between the Queensland Criminal Code offence of Dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death and the Transport Operations (Road Use Management Act 1995 (TORUM) charge of careless driving.

"Recommendations have been handed down by a coroner to fix a huge legislative gap that exists, given that Queensland, unlike other jurisdictions across Australia, has no charge of negligent driving causing death, but these recommendations have clearly been ignored by the Labor Government," he said.

"Enough is enough. I think we are all sick to the stomach of the carnage on our roads and it's time this Labor Government takes a stronger approach on crime.

"The Labor Government has been warned about the unjust legislative gap that exists, but they have sat back and done nothing."

Mr Bennett said it was a privilege to work with the Walker family to bring about meaningful change to enhance road safety.

"It's an honour to work with local residents to make sure good, fair and effective policy is implemented to enhance road safety for all," he said.

"Now I'm calling on people to join me in supporting this family and other families across the state who haven't received the justice they desperately need to move forward.

"This family is suffering the devastating loss of their loved ones, and on top of that they are tormented by weak laws that simply don't go far enough to deliver the justice they deserve."

Sign the online petition at http://bit.ly/1to2oMs.

A paper petition is available to sign at the Burnett electorate office, See St, Bargara.



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