The State Government’s legislation to amend anti-hoon laws and reckless driving penalties passed through the Legislative Council last night.
Police Minister John Kobelke said the Road Traffic Amendment Bill 2008, which would come into effect shortly, was an important initiative in the Government’s crackdown on hoons and reckless driving.
The Government’s legislation, which progressed without amendment, increases the period that police may impound a vehicle from 48 hours to seven days for a first hoon offence and to 28 days for a second and subsequent offence.
Additionally, the possible court imposed fines for reckless driving will increase from $1,000 to $2,000 for a first offence, from $1,200 to $3,000 for a second offence and from $2,400 to $4,000 for any subsequent offence. The legislation has also expanded the definition of road rage circumstances so that events that occur on places other than a road, such as private property or carparks are also included.
“Driving comes with responsibilities and those who choose to abide by the law have nothing to fear from these new penalties,” Mr Kobelke said.
“These laws will strengthen the deterrent to those who continually flout the law and drive recklesslessly, endangering their own lives as well as the lives of innocent people.”
The range of vehicle impounding offences are expanded to include driving without a licence:
· following conviction and disqualification by a court;
· when the Department for Planning and Infrastructure Director General has refused to issue or renew a driver’s licence or has suspended or cancelled a licence;
· following the accumulation of excessive demerit points; or
· in contravention of an extraordinary driver’s licence conditions.
“When the State Government announced its intention to crack down on hoons in February, we stated then that we were aiming for the legislation to come into effect by August and we are on track to meet that target,” the Minister said.
The legislation follows changes to penalties for speeding drivers, people not wearing seatbelts and driving while using hand-held mobile phones, which came into effect earlier this year.
Minister's office - 9222 9211