Victoria puts tailgaters on notice

Government to review penalties for tailgating and look to new technology to catch offenders

February 27, 2013

Tailgaters in Victoria could soon face harsher penalties after the state’s government announced a review of existing regulations.

Roads Minister Terry Mulder says a review is necessary because there is no clear definition of a tailgating offence in the current framework and that people continue to drive too close to the vehicle in front.

Current laws see drivers hit with a penalty of one demerit point and a $282 fine for trucks and $211 for cars.

VicRoads will work with the Department of Justice and Victoria Police to define the penalties and will use new technology to identify and measure tailgating.

"Overseas, some jurisdictions are already using special hand-held cameras which detect both speed and the distance between two travelling vehicles," Mulder says.

"This means special hand-held radar guns could also detect tailgating. Victoria will be looking at the technology available and assessing what will work best here.

"This will enable better enforcement of the law and put drivers on notice that they must keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front."

A recent road safety survey found 56 percent of drivers frequently experience tailgating.

There were 61 people killed between 2007 and 2011 as a result of a rear-end crash, with 3,457 injured.

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