Audrey Dow
Audrey Dow

Death of Mackay woman leads to new laws

CAMPAIGN: Family of Mackay woman push for law change

CAMPAIGN: Families of victims left frustrated

NEW penalties for errant drivers have been passed in Queensland parliament on Wednesday evening, nearly five years after the death of Mackay woman Audrey Ann Dow sparked a resounding campaign for harsher laws.

Ms Dow, 81, was killed in July 2013 after a serial disqualified driver travelling on Mulherin Dr in North Mackay crossed the dividing line and smashed into her head on.

Her family, along with families from Bundaberg and Brisbane, have been campaigning for a specific mid range charge in between the light "careless driving" and harder to prove "dangerous driving causing death". They argued this would allow for a broader range of prosecutorial options for the police when charging these types of offenders.

The push was successful as of yesterday, with a new "careless driving causing death or grievous bodily harm" charge to be made law.

Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the new laws follow a review of existing maximum penalties. "Every life lost on Queensland roads is a tragedy," he said.

"These incidents are tragic and I extend my sincere sympathies to everyone affected by them. "I want to thank Audrey's family and many other families who during their time of grief brought about a campaign for change to help other families from being in the tragic circumstances they found themselves." Mandatory minimum licence disqualification periods will also be applied.

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