Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter
Government Senator Lambert Brown is urging the State to institute laws making it criminal for companies to charge members of the disabled community discriminatory prices to insure motor vehicles.
Brown made the call at today’s sitting of a Senate committee, which is considering national policy issues.
He said the current law makes it an offence to drive a vehicle without insurance coverage but argues that it must go further.
But Opposition Senator Arthur Williams said charging members of the disabled community a higher premium for insurance coverage may be guided by the perceived risks involved.
Similarly, Senator Alexander Williams argued that it would not be appropriate for Brown’s proposal to be enacted.
He further argued that the Charter of Rights protects all persons from discrimination and that persons who feel wronged can apply to the courts for redress.
Government Senator Imani Duncan Price noted that there are no statistics to guide the committee as to whether the disabled are more or less likely to be involved in motor vehicle crashes.
The committee is expected to report to the Senate on ways to secure the driver’s licensing process and ways to ensure road safety.