Hoons to lose vehicles for longer

HOONS and repeat dangerous drivers will lose their vehicles for seven days instead of the current two days when tougher impoundment laws come into effect next year.

Changes to the legislation are expected to hit offenders where it hurts the most by giving police the right to take their vehicles away.

Police Minister Neil Roberts said this would streamline the process for taking action against hoons by allowing police to commence proceedings by infringement notice, rather than arrest or issue a notice to appear in court.

He said since type 1 hoon laws were introduced in 2002 – with type 2 laws introduced in July 2007 – close to 28,000 vehicles had been impounded for a 48-hour period with about 30% of offenders eligible for further sanction after their first offence.

“These statistics show that offenders are getting the message,” Mr Roberts said.

“The changes will make the impoundment legislation event tougher (and) will deliver efficiencies for both the police service and courts.

“The message to hoons and repeat offenders is simple – do the wrong thing and you will face the consequences.”

Changes to the state’s impoundment laws were approved by State Cabinet this week.

“Hoons and repeat dangerous drivers have no place on our roads. Their behaviour makes them a danger to themselves and a danger to other road users,” Premier Anna Bligh said.

“Queensland already has tough laws in place which target traditional hooning – such as street racing and burnouts – but also other serious driving behaviour such as driving unregistered and uninsured vehicles, driving whilst unlicensed or disqualified and driving with a high-range blood alcohol level.”

Currently a first hooning offence and a second dangerous driving offence will result in a fine and immediate impoundment for 48 hours.

The penalty will change to a fine and immediate seven-day impoundment.

Gympie Times

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