Victorian government to clamp down on tailgaters

The Victorian government has announced that it will be clamping down on drivers found guilty of tailgating - the habit of following too closely behind another vehicle when out on the roads.

The current penalty for tailgating is a fine of between $211 (for cars) and $282 (for heavy vehicles), as well as the loss of one demerit point.

However minister for roads Terry Mulder says that this law has been ineffective in reducing the amount of people who are failing to keep a safe following distance.

"In the recent Victorian Road Safety Survey, 56 per cent of drivers said they frequently experienced tailgating and other intimidating behaviour - so clearly the message is not getting through," said Mr Mulder in a statement released February 26.

Thus the Victorian government plans to start trialling new technology - such as special hand-held cameras - which is designed to identify and measure tailgating offences.

"Victoria will be looking at the technology available and assessing what will work best here. This will enable better enforcement of the law and put drivers on notice that they must keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front," said Mr Mulder.

If you are a fleet manager in Victoria, you may want to take this opportunity to remind employees of safe driving behaviour regarding following distances.

Most driving authorities recommend keeping to the two second rule at all times, in which drivers use a roadside landmark to count off exactly how closely they are following the vehicle in front of them.

According to Mr Mulder, rear end impacts are the second most common crash scenario in Victoria - so the importance of keeping to the two second rule speaks for itself.