Cycling is about "Safe exercise" and "Safe low-emission travel" The Health and Fitness objective is UNDERMINED if the means of exercise is UNSAFE! This blog STRONGLY OPPOSES certain reforms VicRoads is currently considering: “cyclists could be allowed to treat red lights as Give Way signs. And the same could also APPLY at pedestrian lights."
Also "PERMITTING cyclists, riding cautiously, to proceed past a stationary tram;" "allowing teenagers to ride on footpaths"(Herald Sun)PDowe
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Pedestrian Safety Dog Attacks Dog Owners Tough New Laws ChildSafetyatHome Herald Sun & Editorial July 8th 2013 Community Safety
Pet bans, jail time for irresponsible dog owners under new government crackdown
Should owners of dogs that attack face 10-year pet bans? Vote now and have your say below
Dog attack survivor Mr Tat has backed the move to ban owners.
Mr Tat was mauled by a pack of dogs for 15 minutes in a fearsome attack in Carlton in April, which was caught on film.
Ayen Chol, 4, was fatally mauled by an unregistered pit bull at her St Alabans home in 2011.
"In my case, I was attacked by four dogs. The owner let them play around on the street and near a park where a lot of children play," Mr Tat said in a statement translated by his son James.
James Tat said his father supported the State Government's proposal to increase penalties to irresponsible dog owners and to ban dangerous dogs from the streets.
The crackdown on irresponsible dog owners comes as new data obtained by the Herald Sun reveals dog attack victims with serious bite wounds have doubled in the past decade.
At the same time, police are charging dramatically fewer owners.
Almost 5000 people have been admitted to Victoria's 38 biggest hospitals with dog bite injuries in the past decade, while another 16,600 were treated for less serious bite wounds in emergency departments, according to data from the Monash University's Injury Surveillance Unit.
Dog bite admissions have risen from 329 in 2002-03 to 760 in 2011-12.
And children are paying the price, with more than one in four dog attack victims aged nine or younger, with the 0 to five-year-olds facing the greatest risk.
JUNE: A WOMAN in her 40s was left with an almost severed finger after being mauled by three dogs in Boronia. Another woman was also bitten by the dogs which were seen earlier menacing a girl.
MAY: A DOG sparked chaotic scenes when it viciously attacked another dog in the hands of its owner at a women’s football match at Lalor.
APRIL: FOUR dogs attacked 52-year-old Mr Tat as he went to move his car near his flat in Drummond St, Carlton. The frenzied 15-minute attack was captured on video.
MARCH: A DOG owner whose Staffordshire bull terrier killed a cat was convicted and fined $6603 in the Dandenong Magistrate's Court.
FEBRUARY: A REAL estate agent Laura Scott, 27, was left traumatised and suffering serious infections in both legs after being was attacked by a dog while inspecting a property in Heidelberg West.
JANUARY: SHOP owner Bryan Stertern-Gill, 69, suffered cuts to his left arm and both legs, scratches to his chest and haematomas in his left arm and right leg after being attacked by a dog at the rear of his shop. He needed surgery on his right leg after the wounds became infected and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress.
DECEMBER: A 92-year-old Ormond woman Nina McCormack was hospitalised for 10 days after being savagely bitten by a dog in a park.
NOVEMBER: CAROLINE Springs cancer survivor Jacqui Loughlin, 61, was left traumatised after one of her dogs was killed and another injured in an attack by a roaming german shepherd. PIC IN LEADER
OCTOBER: A 74-year-old Reservoir woman attacked and bitten by two dogs while sweeping her driveway. When police arrived the dogs then tried to attack them.
OCTOBER: A VICIOUS dog attack left elderly Altona Meadows resident Willy Saunders, 89, too frightened to walk her dog. Ms Saunders was bitten repeatedly on the hand as she tried to free her shitsu-cross Bobby when he was set upon by two other dogs.
SEPTEMBER: CHRISTINA Moyle received 100 stitches when a suspected pit bull cross pounced without warning and tore into her face when she and her and her husband, Wayne, were visiting friends who owned the dog.
SEPTEMBER: A CHILD was rushed to the Royal Children’s Hospital after being mauled to the upper body injuries set upon by the terrier-cross in Charles St, Kew.
AUGUST: MATHEW Camilleri, 30, whose two unregistered rottweilers attacked two people in a frenzied 20-minute mauling was fined a record $21,000 with costs. Mark Gillatt had to have a metal plate in his arm and his wife, Kylie, suffered puncture wounds from more than 20 bites after the attack in Cragieburn.
AUGUST: TWO roaming dogs left a 10-year-old girl traumatised when they attacked her shitzu-maltese cross while she was walking it in Norlane.
AUGUST: THREE dogs attacked and killed a guide dog in Ivanhoe.
JULY: LAZOR Josevski, 58, of St Albans, was fined $11,000 for the fatal attack by his pitbull-mastiff on four-year-old Ayen Chol, including $4000 for Ayen's death, $6000 for attacking two other members of the Chol family and $1000 for having an unregistered dog.
Despite the increasing toll of dog attacks, police data shows 38 charges were laid against owners for attacks on people in 2011-12, compared with 130 in 2002-03.
Under changes to the Domestic Animals Act to be introduced to State Parliament later this year, the courts will have the ability to ban a person from owning or being in control of dogs for up to 10 years if they have been found guilty of having dogs that have attacked.
If they break that ban, they face up to two years in jail or a $34,600 penalty.
The new laws are the toughest since restricted dog breeds were introduced after the death of Ayen Chol, 4, who was fatally mauled at her St Albans home by an unregistered pit bull in August 2011.
The State Government then also granted police and local government officers power to immediately euthanase dogs acting dangerously and on the loose.
It has since increased penalties for owners of dogs proven to have attacked a person.
Nina McCormack, 92, was hospitalised this year after being attacked by a dog at Ormond.
SERIOUS injuries are likely to be avoided and even lives saved under new laws governing dangerous dogs.
The Victorian Government has fought a legal battle with some dog owners following the death of four-year-old Ayen Chol who was mauled by a pit bull in Melbourne in 2010.
Restrictions on certain breeds were challenged in the courts with council officers and police often unable to prove that a dog involved in an attack was not a cross breed. This led to several prosecutions being dismissed.
New laws carry heavy penalties for owners or those in charge of dogs that have attacked someone, no matter what breed the dog might be.
These laws have teeth. People can be banned from owning dogs or being in control of dogs for up to 10 years and can be jailed for two years or fined $34,600 if they break such a ban.
The penalties may be harsh but something had to be done to protect the public, particularly children, from being bitten by dogs.
As reported in today's Herald Sun, the number of dog-attack victims with serious wounds has doubled in the past 10 years.
Almost 5000 people have been admitted to the state's hospitals with dog-bite injuries and another 16,600 were treated for less serious injuries in hospital emergency departments.
More than one in four dog-attack victims are aged nine or younger, with children under five at greatest risk.
Dangerous dogs will be seized by council officers and put down after attacks. This should discourage people from buying dangerous breeds. The owners of guard dogs can also be prosecuted under new laws if their dog kills someone or endangers life.
The Victorian Government has also introduced a program to educate primary school and kindergarten children in dog safety. Almost half of dog attacks happen in homes with children most at risk.
There should be no doubt that strong action is needed against dangerous dog attacks. The death of little Ayen Chol, who was attacked by a pit bull that ran into her parents' home and mauled her as she clung to her mother's leg, shocked families who called for changes to the law.
These changes have met with resistance from some irresponsible owners who believe they have a right to keep dangerous breeds, without considering the risk if these dogs become loose on the streets.