Yet more and more indication that the Court’s discretion in matters is being eroded with the announcement that the State Liberal Government is proposing amendments to confiscate vehicles that “cause distress” to neighbours or damage property including leaving tyre marks on roads. For anyone in the business, that means pretty much any Reckless Driving offence will mean a loss of your vehicle. Having been involved in cars being confiscated I can tell you there is very little that a person can do to argue against the confiscation of their vehicle if they meet the criteria. This is currently 3 ‘hoon’ offences within 5 years (Driving under suspension counts as such an offence) and it is mandatory for the Court to grant the confiscation application. The new proposal appears to allow a ‘discretion’ to the Court to confiscate, however exactly how this will be worded is anyone’s guess not to mention the propensity for governments to later amend the legislation to essentially remove any discretion.
What I find hilarious (for all the wrong reasons) are comments made by people who want these laws that “…these people don’t seem to have any concern about their vehicle, their tyres or people’s lives” which leads me to conclude that these laws will be useless if the individual concerned has no regard for the above. It is also more incentive to attempt to evade capture. Not surprisingly the government does not back up their proposal with any figures that state the ‘hoon laws’ are effective or that these amendments will make them more effective. It seems the smart thing to do is have more police presence on the roads in the trouble spots known.
For the record, ‘hoon laws’ are ridiculous, draconian and appeal to talk back radio jockeys. Any mandatory sentencing law should be regarded as an erosion of people’s rights by limiting the scope of the Court’s powers.