The road ahead: Driver’s licensing and the over-incarceration of Aboriginal peoples in Western Australia

Fiona McGaughey, Teodora Pasca, Sarah Millman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Western Australia is the Australian state with the highest incarceration rates of Aboriginal people. This article examines the laws and policies governing driving offences, driver’s licensing, and fines in Western Australia and their implications for Aboriginal people. The Aboriginal rate of imprisonment for licensing offences in Western Australia is significantly higher than the rate for non-Aboriginal people, with the overrepresentation being particularly stark within regional areas. Geographical, cultural, financial, and social barriers inhibit the accessibility of driver’s licensing services for Aboriginal people, while an acute need to drive in Aboriginal communities can lead to unlicensed driving. As a result, Aboriginal people are imprisoned for unlicensed or disqualified driving or fine defaults, with harmful impacts on Aboriginal communities. The article makes recommendations for law reform, to be considered in consultation with Aboriginal communities in adherence with Australia’s obligations regarding self-determination, consultation, representation and consent in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
JournalAlternative Law Journal
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Aug 2018

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