Hoons face crackdown
IF YOU’RE a hoon, you’ll be caught.
That’s the message from the Queensland Police Service as Northern Region statistics reveal about 40 vehicles are impounded, immobilised or become eligible for forfeiture each week.
In the last financial year there have been 1105 impoundments for hooning offences in the Northern Region and 10,113 for offences such as high- end speeding, high- range drink- driving, unregistered and uninsured driving.
Type 1 offences include dangerous driving, racing/ speed trials on a road, wilfully making unnecessary noise or smoke and evading police.
Townsville Acting Inspector Darren Randall said police made no apologies for a tough stance on hoons.
“Police won’t hesitate to impound or immobilise or seek a forfeiture notice on a vehicle,” he said. “We make no apology for that. That is our commitment to road safety.
“Road users need to know they are driving safely and not be subjected to the few who are causing trouble.”
Police data reveal that in 2015- 16, 2086 vehicles in the Northern Region were impounded, immobilised or eligible for forfeiture, an increase on the previous year’s figure of 1751.
“Having your vehicle impounded or eligible for forfeiture should be a deterrent but it doesn’t appear to be,” Insp Randall said.
“There has been an increase in the number of vehicles impounded or eligible for forfeiture and that’s a concern.”
Amendments to the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 in 2013 mean police now have more power to impound, confiscate or immobilise vehicles that have been involved in a hooning offence.
Previously, a Type 1 offence would usually result in an impoundment of two days, but under the recent changes, a first- time offender may have a vehicle impounded or immobilised for 90 days.
Insp Randall said it was important to note any subsequent Type 1 offence would result in the indefinite forfeiture of a vehicle, pending the result of any court proceedings.
“If you’re found guilty of a Type 1 offence on two or more occasions, then your car will be forfeited per- manently and will become the property of the state,” he said.
“And police will continue to show people who offend that there is a real consequence to such behaviour.”
Police Minister Mark Ryan said the Palaszczuk Government was determined to keep all Queenslanders safe and this included our road users.
“Road users need to take accountability for their actions on the road and if they break the law they’ll pay the price,” he said.
“As Police Minister, I support the hard work of our police and their tireless efforts to keep people safe behind the wheel.” TOWNSVILLE C City Council and police are ramping up the fight against abandoned cars.
Community Safety Advisory Committee chairman Cr Russ Cook said he would meet police this week to finalise an agreement on how to best address the problem.
“We’re getting far too many instances where vehicles are left abandoned for too long,” he said. “We need a system in place that police and council are on the same page when it comes to removing the unsightly problem of abandoned vehicles.”
From January to June, 434 abandoned vehicles were reported to the council. The council needed to tow 115 of those vehicles.
Cr Cook, a former policeman, said the council would work with police to ensure abandoned vehicles were removed quickly.
“We want to remove these eyesores from our streets as soon as possible and when we nut out the new standard operating procedure with QPS, that’ll happen more effectively,” he said. “The new agreement will hopefully mean that the council is alerted straight away that a vehicle is abandoned and we can act on that straight away.”
Townsville Crime Prevention Unit Sergeant Julie Cooke said police were regularly contacted to attend stolen or crashed vehicles that had been left abandoned.
She said police had limited powers to remove the vehicles unless they were a hazard and could only issue infringement notices if a car was parked illegally.