Driving with attitude

Hoon driving causes a vehicle to travel at very high speed or in a manner that produces burnouts and doughnuts. Dangerous driving, careless driving, failure to have proper control of the vehicle and causing the vehicle to make excessive noise or smoke are also considered hoon-related offences if they are committed in circumstances involving the improper use of a motor vehicle.

This dangerous driving behaviour places the safety of drivers and other road users at risk.

FAQs

What does impounded, immobilised and forfeited mean?

A car is impounded when secured at a premises under the authority of the Commissioner of Police and the Sheriff. While legislation enables vehicles to be impounded, it also provides police with the power to immobilise vehicles. This means a vehicle is mechanically adjusted so that it cannot be driven (i.e. wheel clamping). Forfeited vehicles may be taken from hoon drivers and sold by the state of South Australia, which may keep the proceeds.

How do I inform the police about hoon driving in my local area?

You may report hoon driving behaviour to the Police by telephoning Traffic Watch on 131 444 or in person at a Police Station.

These reports are a valuable tool in enabling police to gather intelligence and target repeat hoon drivers.  It also allows police to undertake better long-term planning to prevent hoon driving in particular areas.

Hoon drivers must be held accountable for their actions and police attendance at these incidents is critical to achieving this.

What the Law says

New laws effective 1 November 2010 are outlined in the Attorney-General's media release, links to the acts are below.

Tougher provisions have been introduced under the Attorney-General’s hoon legislation, the Criminal Law (Clamping, Impounding and Forfeiture of Vehicles) Act 2007.

Penalties for hoon drivers, among other unsafe drivers, allow the police to:

  • immediately wheel clamp or impound an offender’s vehicle for up to 28 days
  • apply to the courts to extend that period to 6 months
  • wheel-clamp or impound any vehicle owned by the alleged offender, not only the one in which the offence was committed.

The Courts also have discretion to impose harsher penalties upon repeat offenders, including permanent vehicle seizure.  The period in which previous hoon-driving offences (otherwise known as ‘prescribed offences’) may be counted by the courts, to determine the penalties for repeat offences, has been extended from five to 10 years.

The ‘prescribed offences’ for which vehicles may be impounded, clamped or forfeited include:

Summary Offences Act 1953
  • Misuse of a motor vehicle on private land (section 17AA)
  • Emitting excessive noise from vehicle by amplified sound equipment or other devices (section 54)
Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935
  • Dangerous driving cause death or injury (section 19A)
  • Dangerous driving to escape police pursuit (section 19AC)
  • Damage to property (section 85), to the extent that this offence involves marking of graffiti
Graffiti Control Act 2001

Marking graffiti (section 9)

Road Traffic Act 1961
  • Misuse of a motor vehicle (section 44B)
  • Aggravated offence of careless driving (section 45)
  • Driving at excessive speed (section 45A)
  • Dangerous driving (section 46)
  • Driving under the influence of an intoxicating liquor or drug (section 47)
  • Driving while having the prescribed concentration of alcohol in blood (section 47B)
  • Driving with a prescribed drug in oral fluid or blood (section 47BA)
Motor Vehicles Act 1959
  • Driving when one is not and has never been authorised to drive a motor vehicle (section 74(2)(b))
  • Following disqualification for a serious drink driving offence, driving when one has not been authorised to drive a motor vehicle (section 74(2a))
  • Driving while disqualified (section 91(5))

A second or subsequent offence of

  • Driving an unregistered vehicle (section 9)
  • Driving an uninsured vehicle (section 102)

Penalties

Hoon drivers may be fined up to $1,250 or may face a licence disqualification or even imprisonment for some offences.  Wheel clamping, impounding or forfeiture of a vehicle is in addition to any other penalty that may apply to a prescribed offence.

The Government takes speeding on our roads very seriously and is committed to ensuring that the penalties for hoon drivers are appropriate and most importantly, have a deterrent effect.  Drivers who are caught speeding at 45 km/h or more above the speed limit, face an immediate loss of licence for a period of six months, in addition to hefty fines.

Penalties up to $2500 or imprisonment for 6 months apply to a person who interferes with a wheel clamp affixed to a motor vehicle or hinders or obstructs a relevant authority from exercising powers under this Act.

Links

Criminal Law (Clamping, Impounding and Forfeiture of Vehicles) Act 2007

Criminal Law (Clamping, Impounding and Forfeiture of Vehicles) (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2009

Criminal Law (Clamping,Impounding and Forfeiture of Vehicles) Variation Regulations 2010

SAPOL Traffic Watch

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