Oatlands killings spark major road rules changes
Speed camera warning signs will be scrapped and motorists caught driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol will face harsher penalties under a number of new laws for NSW.
The government is hoping the change will help crack down on those speeding, including removing warning signs often located 250m and 50m ahead of mobile speed cameras which would warn motorists to slow down.
The changes have been introduced after four children were tragically killed by a drunk driver in Oatlands earlier in the year.
Leila and Daniel Abdallah lost three children in the crash, and one of the children’s cousins was also killed.
NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance said the changes are about shifting culture and behaviour.
“We want to make a difference,” he said.
“We can't keep doing what we’re doing, year in, year out, knowing the impact it has on families, loved ones, children and our community.”
Bridget Sakr, who lost her 11-year-old daughter Veronique in the crash, spoke to NCA NewsWire and said: “We’re extremely overwhelmed with the change in the law. It’s taken nine months to get this legislation into place, that’s never happened (as fast) before. I think that in itself speaks to how much impact this tragedy has had on people’s lives, all over Australia.”
Ms Sakr was present at the announcement of the proposed new road rules alongside Mr and Mrs Abdallah, who lost their children Sienna, 8, Angelina, 12, and Antony, 13.
The changes will be rolled out over a 12-month period.
Mr Constance went on to reveal that harsher penalties will be introduced for those caught driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs from next year.
Drivers are 23 times more likely to crash if they’re under the influence of alcohol and drugs, he said, citing recent research.
“This massive, life-threatening risk needs a stronger penalty,” Mr Constance said.
“Across our roads network we have seen this reckless and irresponsible behaviour result in far too many deaths and serious injuries, and these tougher penalties send the message that this behaviour won’t be tolerated.”
Since 2015 over 100 serious crashes have involved a driver or rider with illegal levels of both alcohol and drugs in their system.
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