A bikie more worried about his outlaw jacket than the young woman who died when his speeding motorcycle slammed into the car in which she was a passenger has prompted Western Australia to double the penalties for dangerous drivers who kill.
Under “Charlotte’s law”, named in honour of 19-yerar-old Charlotte Pemberton, unlicenced drivers and other categories of offenders will now face up to 20 years.
Ms Pemberton was killed in 2015 when Rebel bikie Dylan James Adams tried to beat a red light and ploughed into the passenger of her boyfriend’s car.
He expressed no concern or remorse at the scene towards Ms Pemberton or her partner but was concerned about paramedics cutting off his bikie vest.
Adams, 21 at the time, had been travelling up to 100km/h in a 60km/h zone in peak hour traffic.
Outrage erupted last year when Adams was sentenced to just four years and three months. Prosecutors did not appeal as the term was broadly in line with penalties given in similar cases.
Charlotte’s Law expands the charge of aggravated dangerous driving causing death to cover driving while unlicensed, suspended or disqualified. It also lowers the speeding threshold’s definition to 30km/h over the limit.
Previously, the charge only applied to people driving 45km/h over the limit, without the vehicle owner’s consent or to escape police pursuit.
Charlotte’s father Wayne Pemberton said he appreciated parliament passing the law while calling on judges to impose the stiffer penalties..
“The sadness of it, this is designed as a deterrent, but it’s going to have to be applied a few times before people start taking notice of it,” Mr Pemberton told 6PR radio on Friday.
Opposition police spokesman Peter Katsambanis has previously criticised the government for not adding mandatory minimum terms to the legislation.