UPDATE: Police are more willing to chase reckless drivers after being given enhanced legal protection during pursuits, Police Minister Liza Harvey said today.
Revealing that 113 reckless drivers had been slapped with mandatory minimum sentences of six months’ jail since the laws came into effect in December, Mrs Harvey said the rate was higher then she expected.
“It was a two-pronged piece of legislation,” she said.
“First of all it creates a very significant consequence for drivers who engage in this behaviour but it also provided a defence for police officers who are charged with the duty of getting these people off the road.
“Police now have the confidence to go after these drivers.”
The legislation also increased penalties for killing or injuring people while fleeing police to a mandatory 12-month term.
They were introduced by the Barnett Government after an officer pursuing an offender was charged with dangerous driving over a crash that claimed the life of Dianella woman Sharon D’Ercole in April 2012.The WA Police Union had threatened to ban pursuits altogether until the laws were put on the agenda.