Government calls on speedster Jones to quit police portfolio

Ian Bushnell 28 May 2020 32
Guilia Jones

Guilia Jones and colleague Mark Parton after joining the cycling push. Photo: Facebook.

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.


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32 Responses to Government calls on speedster Jones to quit police portfolio
Gordon Williamson Gordon Williamson 9:57 pm 30 May 20

We see all over the world this perception that somehow the powerful or political class should not be bound by the same restrictions as ordinary people. The question is not whether speeding or any other offence is “really” serious or not; it is quite simply a question of whether those who make the rules should also be bound by them.

Keran Niquet Keran Niquet 6:06 pm 29 May 20

As a liberal supporter, I agree. She should be removed .

Gerry Satrapa Gerry Satrapa 12:57 pm 29 May 20

The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour...

Capital Retro Capital Retro 9:25 am 29 May 20

She deserves praise for contributing towards the Territory’s desperately needed revenue.

Do some of you people seriously believe speeding is a really a road safety issue? If it was, there would be no fines and offenders would lose their licenses and get 12 months gaol.

    Wellington Sludge Wellington Sludge 2:30 pm 05 Jun 20

    “Do some of you people seriously believe speeding is a really a road safety issue?”

    Do you seriously believe that it is not? If so, I can post links to many studies and reports that solidify the correlation between driving at speeds above the recommended limit and road accidents.

    (And I don’t even want to spend time on the lack of logic in your final sentence.)

Alice Paris Alice Paris 10:21 pm 28 May 20

This is a distraction. The real issues are in the areas of planning and the environment, the link between the labor/green alliance and developers in this town.

    Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 10:38 pm 28 May 20

    Certainly not a distraction for the 500 or so folk seriously injured in road crashes each year. It never seems goes down, and the pile of injured just grows. The CTP reforms to wind back some rights of the injured are admission that this should also be added to the list of policy failures. Agree on planning and duplicity on environment. Homelessness, mental health and crime rates (burglaries for example) also feature highly. Oh, I forgot public sector management!

    Alice Paris Alice Paris 10:50 pm 28 May 20

    Yes those are all valid points. Not to deny the impact that people that find themselves injured in everyday life have to face from road injuries but the consequences of poor planning and environmental decisions are already impacting tens of thousands of Canberrans. It is likely obvious to even the most casual observer that linking low level speeding offences to the annual road injury statistics is political.

    Bill Gemmell Bill Gemmell 10:55 pm 28 May 20

    Alice Paris I haven't made that link. I deliberately avoid making it actually. BTW, I gather from your responses that you haven't actually tried to look at the annual injury statistics.

    Alice Paris Alice Paris 11:01 pm 28 May 20

    I am referring to the association made on this subject including comments made by Rattenbury who does make that link.

Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 9:27 pm 28 May 20

Most people in Canberra speed, and most don’t get fined, giulia was just unlucky

    Juliet Jackman Juliet Jackman 10:08 pm 28 May 20

    Or, considering how many times people speed and don't get caught, being caught multiple times suggests she speeds ALOT

    Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 10:14 pm 28 May 20

    Juliet Jackman some people are lucky some are not, it’s simple

    Juliet Jackman Juliet Jackman 10:20 pm 28 May 20

    Low range speeding is 1 point, she was unlucky 11 times and still didn't learn before the 12th?

    Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 10:28 pm 28 May 20

    Juliet Jackman it does matter how you vote, because it shows bias, have you ever had a speeding ticket??

    Toshak Akita Toshak Akita 1:43 pm 29 May 20

    Jorge Gatica i for one have never sped...😎

    Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 3:11 pm 29 May 20

    Toshak Akita hahaha!! Yeah

Kim Kim 3:48 pm 28 May 20

Edgar Sharp you say comparing low range speeding to people dying on the roads is disjointed and pathetic. Wow, you obviously haven’t looked at the statistics. I wonder how you and Giulia Jones would feel if one of your family members was a statistic. Woe betide if Mick Gentleman the Emergency Services Minister was caught on multiple occasions blatantly ignoring road rules and showing a lack of respect for community safety. Oh how those Canberra Conservatives (pretend to be Liberals) love quoting “lack of respect” in their election campaigning.

grim123 grim123 3:33 pm 28 May 20

I’d much prefer Rattenbury resign from politics and stop looking for pointless things to legislate and grand new ways to waste ACT taxpayers money on his hair brained schemes.

Chris Cross Chris Cross 2:52 pm 28 May 20

Lots of people here excusing her behaviour, and its pretty disappointing. Political beliefs aside, how many times must someone be booked before abiding by the law? Whether it was 1 point or 3 points off each time, it’s not good enough that it’s a repeat offence. To have your licence revoked is a big deal. That’s why insurers ask that very question before insuring you. It demonstrates very poor judgement.... something I think is pretty important for those wanting to make decisions as an elected official.

Edgar Sharp Edgar Sharp 2:35 pm 28 May 20

The disjointed comments comparing low range speeding to people dying on the roads is pretty pathetic. Yes public officials should always be perfect, of course, but in the scale of things someone copping the punishment for going insignificantly over a speed limit does not at all affect my opinion of them. If anything jumping on a bike for a few months makes me think higher of her.

    Megan Baker-Goldsmith Megan Baker-Goldsmith 5:13 pm 28 May 20

    Edgar Sharp every 1km/hour increase in speed has a corresponding increase in stopping distance for your car.

    The speed zones are set so that you have opportunity to slam on the brakes and stop to avoid an accident.

    In a school zone, an extra 2km/hour is the difference between stopping when a kid runs out on the road, or hitting them. Even at low speeds car accidents are serious, and even if there’s no fatality car crash injuries have life long impacts.

    How do I know? - 20 years ago I was hit by someone speeding through a red light. They just “sped up a bit to get through the orange light”.

    They misjudged it and we’re doing an estimated 80 in a 60 zone through a red light.

    I had 23 broken bones and spent 6 months in a wheelchair- just because someone wanted to get to Hungry Jack’s for a burger without waiting a minute at the traffic lights.

    Edgar Sharp Edgar Sharp 5:17 pm 28 May 20

    Sorry to hear about that, but speeding 20km/hr thru a red light isn't at all the same thing

Shayne Borger Shayne Borger 2:32 pm 28 May 20

Typical Canberra Labor response. Neither side of politics is clean, its all about who gets to the gutter first. No ones infallible so dont throw the rock from the glasshouse. Done the crime, paid the time, move on

    Michael White Michael White 2:39 pm 28 May 20

    Shayne Borger it was a green who responded. Not labor 🤷🏼‍♂️

    Jayson Carey-Brenton Jayson Carey-Brenton 2:45 pm 28 May 20

    I agree Shayne.

Zoë Clews Tibbitts Zoë Clews Tibbitts 2:17 pm 28 May 20

Repeat offending is not "a mistake".

Theia Rose Theia Rose 2:08 pm 28 May 20

Agree. Anyone doing 150 in a 90 zone, repeatedly, should not represent emergency services.

    Edgar Sharp Edgar Sharp 2:31 pm 28 May 20

    Theia Rose It said low range offences

    Theia Rose Theia Rose 2:33 pm 28 May 20

    Edgar Sharp apologies, read another article incorrectly, regardless she has had multiple offences and should not continue in her role

    Theia Rose Theia Rose 4:13 pm 28 May 20

    Once, sure. But multiple offences that lead to a loss of licence shows that she is incapable of following the law; therefore she shouldn't be in a public office trying to upload it

Spiral Spiral 12:52 pm 28 May 20

How silly. Surely they would be better if she keeps her position. A record like that would be great ammunition to use against her in the next election.

If the Libs were smart they would already have shuffled the deck chairs and moved her elsewhere.

Now they are stuck between a rock and a hard place, having to either bow to the Government’s demands, or continue supporting a liability.

Perhaps now instead of being known as “Guilia With a G” she can become “Own Goal Guilia”

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