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While more and more motorists continue to perish on QLD roads, the Police force have been obsessed with increasing the number of speed cameras (which hasn’t reduced the road toll at all), so now they have a new idea: disqualified drivers will face having their cars impounded and sold at auction starting from July.

Last month while I was driving through Oxley, south-west of Brisbane, the police force had set up an enormous blockade, pulling drivers over for speeding and checking everything from driver’s licences to tyres and modifications, according to them, it led to 90 driving offenders appearing in court on the same day! Thankfully, I wasn’t one of them.

It was, to put in bluntly, a trap, as the offenders appeared in a local court that very day, many lost their licences instantly, nine of those disqualified got back in their cars and drove off. The men in blue were sitting outside the Richlands courthouse and all nine were quickly arrested for driving on a disqualified license!

According to QLD Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson, police traps, like the one mentioned, are a “fair tactic”. They remove risky drivers from our roads.

A current trial running in the state has already led to 866 cars driven by repeat unlicensed drivers impounded for good. Now the trial will extend to the whole state.

Judy SpenceSo how exactly do you get your car impounded? Drive on a disqualified license over and over again.

How do you get your car impounded and sold? Don’t pay the cost for impounding the car and owe the state government money in due loans or fines.

“These are people who generally have thousands of dollars owing to the state and are not paying off those fines, we decided that instead we would teach them a painful lesson and take their car off them from July 1.” Police Minister Judy Spence said in Brisbane.

The harsh tactics result from the increased possibility of disqualified drivers engaging in high-risk driving behaviour.

In 2003, 4.5 per cent of Queensland road fatalities involved disqualified drivers, last year that figure rose to 9.2 per cent.

Whilst I completely agree that disqualified drivers should give up driving, setting up enormous traps and sending motorists straight to court resulting in instant disqualifications does seem just a tad out of the ordinary, even for QLD police.


  • Frugal-One

    *****PRIMO!*****

    I think its a good idea.

    But we don/t want our kids thrashing daddys car and getting it impounded and/or squashed as they do in USA!

    Wonder what the law is, just say jnr. took it without asking and please hand it back?

    Weird [Like me! :-) ]

    Cheers

    F-0

  • http://realcarsbigpond.net.au realcars

    Hope you didn’t call your kid Junior F-O.lol

  • http://realcarsbigpond.net.au realcars

    I bet that Aurion pursuit car has caught a lot of badies!

  • GhisGT

    GIVE US MORE FACILITIES WHERE WE CAN DRIVE OUR CARS HARD!

    Now that that’s been said, I feel much better. :)

  • joober

    Good! people who keep recklessly driving disqualified should be made to lose their vehicles if they keep persisting on it.

    F-O: I think this should be applicable only to people who own their cars, if JnR borrows and gets caught, the Parents will have to answer but will be a slap on the wrist to control their kids ala hefty fine.

    I agree there should be more areas where we can drive the car hard with more flexibility, if you crash and die there thats your own problem as long your not killing anybody else… “your own stupidity is your own demise”

  • Owen

    Being nice just doesn’t work. Let off, told off once, twice, three times or more … and still repeat the offence/s? Get real, even a dog only needs around seven repeated lessons to learn a new behaviour. Perhaps being tougher in the first seven instances won’t entrench the concept that it doesn’t really mean anything and it’s just a game between ‘me’ and ‘them’. I worry about what happens if the car they’re aprehended driving doesn’t belong to them – not just daddy’s but perhaps stolen. Is it returned or forfeited?

  • No Name

    Break the law pay the dividend. It really pi55es me of as a law abiding driver that the scallies continue flaunting law, no respect, unlicensed, uninsured, in unsafe cars. Yep crush the cars of PERSISTENT offenders like to fools who were banned then drove home.

    Bring it on Police. Just wish they would do it here in the UK.

  • Grumps

    I was wondering when CarAdvice would get around to bagging the cops again. Good to see it hasn’t take too long since the last anti-police article.

    Quote – “setting up enormous traps and sending motorists straight to court resulting in instant disqualifications does seem just a tad out of the ordinary” – end quote.

    You are joking right? Or do you have a guilty conscience and are thanking your lucky stars you didn’t get caught out that day?

    Obviously if you are obeying the law and have a valid licence and a roadworthy vehicle you have nothing to worry about. It’s the same for speed cameras. While I don’t agree with them if you do get caught speeding you only have yourself to blame.

    Rather than having a go at the cops yet again why don’t you raise the issue of the inconsistency and failure of the Courts to impose proper sentences.

    I am quite sure reasonable people would be happy to hear that some unlicensed morons no longer have a vehicle to possibly cause an accident in. And it is true that the majority of disqualified drivers have little regard to the safety of other road users.

    Oh, and as for the cops waiting outside to nab the idiots for driving again it is a common tactic. It just goes to show how stupid people are and their total disregard for the law and others.

  • AlbertK21

    The Police should uses these tactics on Melb’s roads. Might stop some of the stupid, highly dangerous & selfish driving that seems to be the norm on our roads. How often I have come to a halt at intersections or roundabouts, only to see the car in the next lane drive straight through at high speed with micro-seconds between them & the vehicle across whose path they have just crossed. I for one would welcome a strong & relentless police presence on our roads, better than the heart stopping stupidly we have to suffer now. Might get a few of the 1,000′s of unroadworthy vehicles off the road at the same time.

  • No Name

    Yep right there. I remember the nurd in 2005 who managed to drink himself stupid, drive his car with a toddler on his lap and wipe out half a class of teenagers. Sad day.
    Anyone who complains about hard tactics by Police must condone awful driving standards as well.

  • cameron

    Love it – should be more stings, and good on the cops involved. What I’m not so sure of is speed cameras that have no impact on enforcing safety. E.G. take the speed camera set up at Burpengary in a 100KM/H zone. 3 lanes of highway. How does this improve safety in a zone thats already safe!?!?
    If you have to use cameras, put them in the black spots where high accident rates are well known and documented.

    Of course THATS a silly idea – how will the state have the volume of traffic and corresponding glorious revenue stream like they get at Burpengary!?!?
    Come on Judy Spence. Ditch the cameras and get the cops on the roads.
    BTW seen several black XR6 & XR5 Turbos unmarked!

  • Milar

    I’m in total agreement with the coppers here, trap the buggers and make em pay. I’m not squeaky clean, I’ve had a couple of driving offenses (1 was complete bs but not important now) but I always make sure I’m not in a position to lose my license – it’s too important. These guys are idiots and deserve what they get. Actually, I can suggest several places to wait and catch the morons.

    • Mark

      “Trap the buggers and make em pay”, Your attitude is a bit harsh. Cars are expensive things to maintain and keep on the road, And being an important part of many peoples livelyhood to get to and from work. To have a massive trap like this and send people straight to court, they will be punishing good people for minor faults which they probly working to fix, Fair enough if they target sports cars. I hope they catch you for something very minor and they send you straight to court and you loose your licence because you lost a few points accidentally doing slightly over the limit, then you cant get to work, so you loose your job, and have to pay the police fines but have no income.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ alborz

    Grumps,

    1. The stretch of road where the operation took place has had 3 accidents in the last 12 months, non fatal, it is a perfectly straight road wider than the highway, but with a 70km/h speed limit due to a few farms around the area, it is a main road and ALWAYS full of mobile speed traps. The speed limit needs to go up in this case to 80 if not 90.

    2. For me, as I was driving my car, it was a case of being defected, although to any normal person, my car would seem more than road worthy than the majority of cars on the road, as its kept in mint condition at all times with excellent care taken for every single part from oil to tyres to air/fuel ratios (it sees a lot of track so it needs to be in good shape), BUT, the amount of engine modifications and the brake upgrades would render it ‘defective’ – thankfully, and I say this with great thanks to the police officer in charge, he looked over my car and said despite being technically illegal, he sees no reason why better brakes should get a defect. This is great for all those that value logic, but its not consistent.

    QLD Police are limited in what they can do, many, that I have talked to, believe better driver training is beneficial in reducing the road toll, but of course, they only do what they are told, and usually get the blame when it doesn’t work.

  • No Name

    Alborz & Co. If anything the police shouldn’t really be inspecting vehicles they are just opening themselves up for criticism. It should be a state vehicle inspectorate like VOSA in the UK, a government vehicle inspectorate, the aim should be to take unsafe vehicles off the road until they are fixed and not to prosecute the unsuspecting driver unless they are persistent offenders.
    Does not modifying a car void insurance unless there is an engineers inspection certificate to go with it.

  • STUPID LAWS

    you know what always seems to amaze me with all these stupid laws, none of them seem to work, i mean even with more speed cameras, & laws, deaths are still d same, eg. (first 3 lines of this article)

    “”"While more and more motorists continue to perish on QLD roads, the Police force have been obsessed with increasing the number of speed cameras (which hasn’t reduced the road toll at all)”"”

    right, and then their is the new law about crushing cars of street racers, again stupid, because insurance will payout, and the street racers will just build newer, faster, better cars.

    And what about the Northern Territory,now they have a limited speed limit of 130 km on the roads, and guess what in 2007 since the speed limit was introduced road deaths have increased by 20%. and i doubt 1 police car is going to sit around all day in d northern territory heat, just for 1 car to pass every HOUR.

  • Reckless1

    Stupid Laws, your post is really stupid.

    You state insurance will pay if a hoon’s car is crushed for hooning – and then the newly enriched hoon will do it all over again.

    You are out of touch with reality here.

    I’m not a Qld resident (thank god :) ) but if the state laws forbid modifications such as bigger brakes, it will be to overcome the problem of poorly executed modifications. If you want bigger brakes, you will need an engineer’s certificate before the mod is legal. That sounds smart to me.

    Imagine the quality of mods that “stupid laws” would make, given his intelligence level.

  • Ivan

    Has anyone thougt of an alternative reason why road tolls has increased?

    I believe speed limits are not the ONLY reason why, but also the amount of NEW cars being sold.
    Toyota, Holden, Ford, and other manufacturers reported an increase in new car sales since the past years….that would mean more cars on the road and thus more accidents.

    Somehow I am the only one who thinks that to measure the increase in road toll per year is using percentage. Number to accidents divided by number of cars on the road per year.

  • Ivan

    “number OF accidents”

  • ChopstaR87

    Mr Stupid laws, as a person who works in the claims department for a large insurance campany…. insurance will not cover the car if the car has been taken by the police and crashed, they are not covered for this under there insurance… sorry, because they have broken law to get the vehicle taken from them which the insurance will not cover any damage from illegal activity.. sorry not covered mate is all they will hear when they call…

  • http://www.ausrotary.com Fabio

    Impounding cars is fair enough, but selling people’s cars without their concent is just plain wrong, just as bad as steeling someone’s car and selling it for profit. If they want to punish offenders, take their license away from them for longer periods and put them straight into jail if they are caught driving without a license. But selling something you do not own is stealing no matter which way you look at it!!

  • Cameron

    Putting them in jail isn’t the answer for soooo many reasons. Selling their car is good in that it will hit home hard, and for many they will wisen up quickly. Its bad in that some are likely to do something totally stupid in further defiance of the law, as an attempt to retaliate. There will always be morons who hold the law and law enforcers in contempt. I’m just happy that they are getting tougher so these dumb-asses get their dues. They have no place on the tar.

  • No Name

    Fabio selling and crushing IS the answer. The article stated that offenders went to court got banned then attempted to drive home. Good on the Police for watching them. So PERSISTENT offenders hould have their vehicle confiscated for sale or crushing.

  • STUPID LAWS

    Reckless1: OK first of all no im not a QLD resident, i actually live in Sydney NSW, and second of all a few things you said had nothing to do with what i was talking about.

    You see i didnt say “the newly enriched hoon will do it all over again” i said that that street racers or hoons (people with interest, hobbies and passion for cars), will just build newer, faster, better cars.

    AND as for being out of touch with REALITY. let me tell you this, get off your couch, stop watching a load of non-sense on TODAY TONIGHT, and ACCURENT AFFAIR, and get to know some people.

    Because i have a friend who’s modified fancy car was taken by the police and crushed, and yes the insurance did pay, because on his insurance paper his car was fully ensure, so should anything happen to the car either his fault or someone elses (& it didnt mention anything about illegal activity). so a few months after his car was crushed he was paid out ammount of about $65,000. and do u think he decided to put that on a house or something, nope he went back to the fancy car stuff.

    OH and as for the engineering certificates and mods. what do you thing Tunning companies are for.

    AND im ammazed you didnt mention anything about speed cameras or the Northern Territory.

  • Cameron

    Stupid laws – take a pill.

    I bet your friend will have no end of problems trying to insure his new car. I also would be very surprised if insurance companies that pay out under these circumstances don’t change their policies very quickly after any such payouts.

    For the record:
    I agree with not watching today-tonight or A current affair, they cannot seriously be classified as journalists. I lost all respect for Tracy Grimshaw when she joined ACA.

  • Stupid Laws

    Cameron: i agree with u, insurance companies will pretty quickly change their policies, that is if they havent already. i know that my friend was pretty lucky to get paid out, and i doubt that if this happened again to him or some other person, that they would get paid. And his new insurance has already risen by about $2000/yr.

    But in d end my point is that all these speed cameras, red light cameras, speed limits, etc are introduced so the Government(s) can make money. these weren’t introduced to save lives. cause once ppl see speed cameras, or police radars, the first thing that always happens is they turn all their attention to the spedo, to see how fast they are going, and completely forget about the road ahead.

    If the government wanted to reduce the road toll, why dnt they start Forcing Advanced Driver Training, for younger and less experienced drives.AND maybe the government(s) should also look at improving our road qualities. and putting metal fencing or concrete barricades on the outside of country and mountain roads, so that drivers dnt speer off into some field and hit a tree, or so that drivers dnt drive straight off a cliff edge or into some bushes. And they can also put concrete barricades in the middle of the road, where oncoming traffic meet, so that instead of drivers loosing control, or concentration and driving straight into oncoming traffic, the can scrape a concrete barricade, and possible have their life saved.

  • No Name Sydney

    I have heard people saying, after the raid on car hoons in Sydney the other night, that the owners of the impounded cars are going to find out where the individual officers live. I have heard that there are retired police who still can’t get car insurance because, when they were serving officers, They were targeted by car theives and had every car they owned for several years straght either stolen or destroyed. Just things I hear, you know.

  • Cameron

    That’s why they all have private numbers. But if you want to harass the police, keep in mind that if they catch you its probable they will get their own back – and more power to them. They do a thankless task keeping wankers off the streets.
    Sure we all have a hard-luck story about a tosser cop who issued us a ticket – but by and large they deserve community support.
    Its not so tough picking on someone for doing the right thing.

  • SH

    I don\’t agree with much of this, whilst the police are concerned with driver safety yes, I agree, however, why are they targeting 1 time offenders when there are many other things the police could be doing in the community instead of wasting tax payers money.

    I recently had a female employee ring the police to advise of a break and enter to our office (she was on her own and advised this), 5 hrs later, the police failed to attend, I got to the office 5 hrs later and waited for the police (who said they would be there shortly), so 5 hrs, no police, i waited another 3 hrs (8hrs all up) on a Saturday, so i locked up and left.

    that evening, i received a phone call from that female employee, thinking it was her telling me the police had called her to go to the office, i answered the phone, i could not pull over (there was a BIG black hummer next to me), so I answered the call to quickly find the reason for the call, immediately, I get lights and siren from a hummer (weird but hey that money could of been spent on PUBLIC SAFETY not deceit).

    The police officer asked me why i answered the phone, i explained to him, i was waiting on a call from the police due to the break in and i had waited all day for them, ticket, 3 points and $280 fine or whatever it was.

    He asked me why i didn\’t give the phone to my passenger, well, my daughter is 4yrs old, therefore, i don\’t think she could of answered the query.

    I wrote to the head of the station and advised the situation and that my traffic history was good and no go, still proceeded to give me a ticket.

    I think this is totally wrong, so they would rather issue a ticket to someone trying not to waste the police officers time then trying to investigate a robbery which i might add, i had photos of.

    Where is the justice in this? i might add, the police DID NOT turn up until the Monday morning and 2 other stations were issued the job, so we are paying our taxes for the QLD Police WHY?

  • Michael

    The reason they target one time offenders is because you simply broke the law. Why should they let you go? Why are you so special? Also you\’re an example for them.. Psychological reinforcement, if for instance you are on the phone while driving, and get away, there is a high chance of doing it again, if you get booked you won\’t repeat it if you\’re such a good citizen.
    Since you only had a break and enter, the robber was gone, there are more serious crimes to attend to, I don\’t know, lets say a murder scene. The police officers have a list and which is more important will be attended. Since you question the police force with such great enthusiasm, I\’d assume a person of your intelligence would have some understanding of this… But I was wrong.
    Might I add, there is a reason they use unmarked police, surprise surprise, I i won\’t hind it from you, but people can spot out marked police cars, it\’s no secret. They are effective in catching these one time offenders and drag racers, with a great deal of success and your casual offender.
    And (stupid laws), there is a reason why governments don\’t spend numerous amounts of tax payers money on hopeless, useless and pointless projects like building a wall around roads. Simply its too expensive and it will serve very little purpose for the amount spend. People are homeless, and you want to soften up our roads like a circus bumper car. If you\’ve done any physics, you\’d know you\’d rather have your car hit something and decelerate slowly then faster, hence the purpose of crush points in the car. If you increase time interval you crash will be less serious. If you place concrete barriers and someone happens to veer off the road into it at 100Km/h, and almost instantaneous stop, the G-force will exceed 5, and the most a human can handle is roughly 4, so his guts will be out on the wind shield and possibly his body in 2 pieces as the force applied to the seat belt will have him in 2 pieces. This obviously true on highways and freeways, smaller roads have install there barricades with high density pedestrians. So the concrete barricade will not have saved his life!
    Crushing and selling cars is certainly not the way, as that will only anger and infuriate the infringed individual, leading them to do other things like abusing police officers, vandalism to government property and police officers themselves. Why is Australia, Australia? Because you can actually own something, and you have a freedom of speech etc. And for the government to take possession away from you, is something you\’d expect from a dictatorship, logical laws and plans new to be implemented, not easy quick fixes (band-aid jobs) that is the short term fix, what about the long term?!?!…
    And you cannot simply pop everyone into jail for these offenses, as that is extremely expensive, 30,000-40,000 average per person per year. Mind you this does not mean kick everyone out of prison.
    Another note, ACA and the other show that is shown on the other channel is absolute crap, clearly its all about ratings and only the absolute idiot would watch it, most of the evidence show is bias, completely one sided.

  • http://caradvice BRISBANER

    I have an idea or two to cut the road toll in Qld. Firstly change the speed limits to a simple 50 and 80 kph limits. No 40,50,60,70,80,90,100 and 110. This will eliminate the average Joes getting pulled over for accidentally speeding and as one who travels on the notorious Gateway where trucks constantly fly along a very patchy road (like most of the badly surfaced roads in Brisbane)I find the 100kph speed limit means anything unexpected happens there is no time for a reaction and generally nowhere to go.Secondly increase the train system particularly to unis and places like the theme parks on the Gold Coast that attract young people. My daughter was involved in an accident that could have quite easily have been fatal and given time she will hopefully recover. Believe me road safety is utmost in my mind at the moment and I cannot believe how there can be an average of about 4 accidents on the road every morning when I am taking my younger children to school and this is just treated as the norm. The Brisbane roads cannot cope with the influx of people who have moved here and this leads to drivers who become impatient and take bigger risks. I noticed there were markedly less cars on the road when the price of fuel escalated which actually helped the road situation however it doesn’t help businesses that all one way or another rely on transportation of good via our roads. As for the destroying of cars of hoons I believe it would be much more effective to make driving part of the Year 12 curriculum (covering all 4 terms) and at the end of the year show them through the wards in the hospitals where the serious car accident victims are…I have been there, show them the brain injuries and rehabilitation necessary for recovery and perhaps it would give them a wake up call.

  • Jay

    Here is something for you all to ponder. Whilst I agree that the police should be able to impound cars from those who have been caught driving whilst disqualified and agree with Commissioner Atkinson when he says, ‘…a fair tactic … removing risky drivers from the road,’ and the Police Minister’s quote of, ‘…these are people who generally have thousands of dollars owing to the state and are not paying off their fines …’ but get a load of this!!!!!

    One of those red super cars pulled my son up yesterday on the Bruce Highway. Sirens and lights activated. He was in his work ute returning home early to celebrate his birthday. The police said that he had done nothing wrong in the driving department but their ‘check’ had revealed that his licence had expired. Together they checked, and sure enough, the licence had expired … that is, it was out of date, not cancelled or disqualified!
    He apologised and fully expected an infringement notice. Not so. The vehicle was impounded for 48 hours ($260.00 for the tow truck, thank you) and he was given notice to appear in the Magistrates Court to answer the charge.

    Unbelievable! Vehicles impounded because the driver’s licence had expired a short while ago. Clearly this was not the intent of the legislation and not the way the Commissioner saw it when making his statement about tactics and removing risky drivers from the road. How risky is an expired licence?

    The outcome will be two days of lost work, plus a third for the court date, $260 towing fee and whatever fine the Magistrate hands down on the day.

    If the legislation does allow for this then we are in serious trouble here in Qld.

    The whole situation is unbelieveable.

  • andy

    Wake up people!! All these laws do is bring in more revenue for the Government from the 99% of non-criminal citizens. If your child gets YOUR car impounded it will be sold – so all this “Get tough on crime” cr*p just means you lose your car or your child goes to jail while criminals continue to flout the law and rarely get a sentence they deserve. Bring it on because you won’t learn until your car get impounded for non-payment of fines/parking tickets.

  • Sean

    I think cars should be speed limmeted to 110 km/h and push for more diesel cars. my first car was a 4wd with a big 6 a slow reving petrol but it cost to much to run and my second was a turbo diesel pajero 2.5 litre with a five speed manaul and driving on the freeway at 100 km/h it was reaving at 3000 rpm 110 was about 3500 rpm 120 km/h around 4000 rpm and it was easy to drive but the police left me alone my second diesel pajero had a 5 speed gearbox same motor but more nicer inside and my latest 4wd is a diesel automatic and a great car to drive but to any perrents wanting to get there teenager a first car look at diesel they are more souted for them and if i did it i would not let my teenagers drive petrol cars until they have a few years driving experence behind them and if want a 6 cylinder it would be only a diesel powered and on the licence it should have diesel only. and diesel manauls are easyer to drive then petrol manauls. i got into a petrol manaul v6 4wd it took me six months to get the feel of the car because petrol manauls are harder to drive then diesel because the taque is a lot lower and i hill started in 2nd gear with the hand break going up it.

    • nick

      Sean, limiting cars to 110 km/h is not only stupid and over-governing but it is also extremely dangerous if you are overtaking a truck for example. In addition to that your lack of literacy loses you a lot of credibility. I don’t understand how diesel cars are safer for young drivers than petrol cars. Also, most young drivers could not afford a diesel car for their first because it is only quite recent that diesel cars have entered the Australian market.

  • Sean

    well if you say that you have no idea what you are talking about because it looks like you have never driven one and well australian are lucky they don’t have to driving tests like they do in europe where the do a driving test in the local streets in daylight hours and one test at night time and the same on the highway and ask any one from europe who speaks english and they will tell you

  • S

    If trucks and buses have speed limeters on them so should cars and i know someone who did drive trucks interstate and was in a number of accouncents that was not his fault and he gave up interstate driving and just local driving and if cars were limmerted it would save alot of you young drivers and alot of young drivers have no idea how to drive v8 or high powered cars