The ACT Government has called on Opposition police and emergency services spokesperson Guilia Jones to quit the portfolio after it was revealed that she lost her driver’s licence earlier this year for multiple speeding offences.
Road Safety Minister Shane Rattenbury said Mrs Jones could no longer credibly hold the position and should accept responsibility for her actions and resign.
”Given the impact road trauma has on police and emergency services, it is not credible for Mrs Jones to retain the portfolio given her track record,” Mr Rattenbury said
In posts to social media, Mrs Jones had told how she had taken to riding a bike to work and how much she had enjoyed it.
But it was revealed this week that she had had her licence suspended for three months after she was caught committing multiple low-range speeding offences.
She now has her licence back, has issued an apology and the Canberra Liberals say she will be continuing in the role.
”I made a mistake and accepted the consequences,” Mrs Jones said. ”After three months of getting around on my bicycle, it’s given me some additional perspective and I’m looking forward to starting a-fresh.”
It is understood Mrs Jones said was in a private vehicle, and not behind the wheel of a taxpayer-funded car at the time of the offences.
The Liberals would not say if Opposition Leader Alistair Coe had considered sacking her or had disciplined her.
Mr Rattenbury said repeated speeding offences demonstrated irresponsible and dangerous behaviour, as well as a lack of respect for community safety, for the efforts of ACT Policing, and for Government efforts to reduce death and injury on ACT roads.
Repeated speeding offences of this nature showed a blatant disregard for road safety, he said.
”Research shows that speeds of just 5 km/h over the speed limit increases both the likelihood of a crash occurring and the severity of driver and pedestrian injuries in a crash,” Mr Rattenbury said.
”Speeding is one of the ‘fatal five’ of road safety and remains the leading behavioural factor in death and injuries on our roads. Over the past five years, 32 people have lost their lives on our roads.
”Speeding particularly endangers vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists, children and the elderly.”
The revelation comes after police had expressed their frustration last week at the continued dangerous driving of Canberra motorists.
This included high-range speeding offences including two vehicles caught travelling at more than 150 km/h on Parkes Way, a vehicle at 140 km/h in an 80km/h zone in Fyshwick, and a provisional driver travelling at 132 km/h in an 80 km/h zone.
Last month police were alarmed at a spike in speeding offences.
Officer in Charge of Traffic Operations Detective Station Sergeant Marcus Boorman said then that there was no excuse for speeding.
“It is idiotic, it is irresponsible and, worst of all, it is dangerous,” Detective Station Sergeant Boorman said.
“This month alone, we have seen an increase of three to 11 drivers caught travelling more than 45 km/h over the posted speed limit compared with the same period last year.
“When you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, you are not just responsible for your own safety and those in the vehicle with you, but the safety of other road users. It is that blatant disregard for the safety of others that make these incidents so infuriating.”
The number of drivers caught speeding between 30 and 45 km/h over the limit has almost quadrupled from seven to 26 when compared with the same period last year.