On 25 February 2010 the NSW Minister for Police, Mr Michael Daley, introduced the Crimes Amendment (Police Pursuits) Bill 2010 into the NSW Parliament. The law is aimed at toughening laws regarding drivers who evade police. They are a reaction to a string of unfortunate incidents where a person not involved in the chase has been hurt or killed during a high speed police chase.
The police already had the ability to lay charges for failing to stop as directed by police (maximum penalty one year imprisonment), or driving in a manner dangerous (maximum penalty 14 years for death or 11 years for grievous bodily harm), however the penalties for this have now been increased. The Act also adds new offences. An offence of engaging police in a vehicular pursuit while driving furiously, recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to the public (maximum three years) has been created and anyone found guilty of this offence on a second or subsequent occasion is liable to five years imprisonment.
We will have to wait and see if these tougher laws have the desired effect of reducing the frequency of high speed car chases. However clearly anyone charged under these new laws can expect to receive higher penalties if found guilty.