In NSW, "Skye’s Law" refers to a law named in memory of a toddler who was tragically killed in 2009 during a police pursuit. Skye’s Law, formally known as the Crimes Amendment (Skye’s Law) Act 2010, was enacted to address dangerous police pursuits and create harsher penalties for offenders.


The law makes it a specific offence to engage in police pursuits and other police-initiated activities that are dangerous or reckless. It carries significant penalties, including lengthy prison sentences, for individuals who seek to evade police in a manner that endangers others.


Skye’s Law represents an effort to balance the need for law enforcement to apprehend suspects with the responsibility to ensure public safety during police pursuits. It has had a significant impact on police pursuit policies and practices in NSW and has been an important development in the effort to reduce the risks associated with high-speed chases.


Skye’s law is contained in section 51B of the Crimes Act which notes:

(1) The driver of a vehicle 

(a) who knows, ought reasonably to know or has reasonable grounds to suspect that police officers are in pursuit of the vehicle and that the driver is required to stop the vehicle, and 

(b) who does not stop the vehicle, and 

(c) who then drives the vehicle recklessly or at a speed or in a manner dangerous to others, 

is guilty of an offence.


Maximum penalty– 

(a) in the case of a first offence–imprisonment for 3 years, or 

(b) in the case of an offence on a second or subsequent occasion–imprisonment for 5 years.



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*This article correctly reflects the Laws of NSW as at 24th November 2023.


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