Be warned - toughest hoon laws in nation take effect today
NEW anti-hooning and road safety legislation came into effect today, delivering the toughest vehicle impoundment laws in Australia.
However, the government has assured the tough laws are countered by safeguards to protect the community.
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the new legislation would improve road safety across Queensland by providing a strong deterrent to repeat offenders.
"This legislation is not about targeting law-abiding drivers or those with legal modifications. It is about ensuring those who put the lives of other road users at risk by their reckless behaviour face the consequences.
"The majority of Queenslanders take care on the road but there is a small minority who think they are above the law.
"This new legislation has the toughest impoundment laws in Australia for a reason. And that reason is saving lives. Repeat offenders are to be stopped in their tracks.
"It is quite simple. Take away their vehicles and we take away their ability to commit dangerous and reckless driving offences, which risk the lives of everyone else on the road."
Car enthusiasts have already expressed concerns they will suffer under the new laws.
Caboolture Regional Car Club president Dennis Seidel said earlier his week that members of his club were worried about the possibility of being targeted by police.
"There's things like burnouts and stuff, you can understand getting in trouble for things like that," Mr Seidel said.
"(But) they're worried about if you screech your tyres in a general takeoff.
"You haven't sped, you haven't smoked the tyres but they can deem it as dangerous driving."
Acting Assistant Commissioner Mike Keating, from the Road Policing Command, said the new laws focused on motorists engaged in anti-social and unsafe driving behaviours and those with illegal vehicle modifications.
"Motoring enthusiasts have nothing to fear, nor does the average motorist - the majority of Queenslanders understand the importance of road safety, they observe the rules and are sick and tired of the carnage on our roads," Acting Assistant Commissioner Keating said.
"This new legislation will also free up police by cutting red tape and reducing paperwork enabling frontline officers to spend more time patrolling Queensland roads."
A specific community education campaign has been launched to inform motorists on the new legislation and the consequences of dangerous and illegal behaviour on our roads.
The 'Go Too Far Lose Your Car' campaign commenced on October 27, 2013 and includes television, radio, print and digital advertising.
The legislative changes reflect the crackdown on all anti-social and unsafe road behaviours.
Offences are broken into two categories, Type 1 and Type 2, and the changes include:
Type 1 offences:
- 90 day vehicle impoundment for first offence (dangerous operation or careless driving such as burn-outs or drifting; racing, speed trials and evade police).
- Towing and storage of impounded vehicle is at the driver's expense.
- Vehicle liable for forfeiture for second offence.
Type 2 offences:
- Infringement notice, notice to appear or arrested for first offence (such as, unlicensed driving, high range drink driving, exceeding speed limit by more than 40km/hr, driving a vehicle that is both uninsured and unregistered, and non-compliance with vehicle standards and safety regulations). Your vehicle will not be impounded or immobilised.
- 7 day impoundment or immobilisation for second offence.
- 90 days impoundment or immobilisation for third offence.
- Vehicle liable for forfeiture on subsequent offence.
- Appeal provisions include:
- Under certain circumstances the owner or usual driver of the impounded or immobilised vehicle may make application to the Commissioner of Police for early release (e.g. severe hardship, offence occurred without owners' consent).
- Drivers committing first Type 2 offence will be provided with information regarding consequences of committing further offences.
- Any of the following four offences committed in circumstances which involve a speed trial, a race between motor vehicles or a burn out:
- Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle
- Careless driving
- Organising, promoting or taking part in racing or speed trials
- Wilfully starting or driving a motor vehicle in a way that makes unnecessary noise or smoke
- Evading police
- Driving a vehicle while it is uninsured and unregistered
- Unlicensed driving
- High-range drink driving - 0.15% and over
- Exceeding the speed limit by more than 40km/h.
- Driving an illegally modified vehicle not complying with prescribed sections of vehicle standards and safety
- Failure to supply a specimen of breath or blood
- Driving while under a 24 hour suspension