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by George Skentzos

The latest victim of the tough new anti-hoon laws is a classic Ford Falcon GT valued at $200,000 which has been permanently confiscated from its owner – the crime? No it wasn’t speeding and no one was hurt – it was the driver’s second burnout offense.

Overkill is really the only word which comes to mind when a burnout results in what is effectively a $200,000 fine, especially when it took a full blown police operation to issue it.

Police descended on car enthusiast gatherings in New South Wales on Sunday night as part of Operation Torque which resulted in 72 vehicles being searched, 39 tickets and 18 vehicle impoundments.

The operation involved undercover officers stalking car enthusiast gatherings with hidden cameras for months to document alleged offenses and organise the impending raid – a scenario perhaps better implemented in preventing more serious crimes.

Don’t think that “car enthusiast” is a protective euphemism for the offenders either – the police themselves use this term in their public statements.

“Operation Torque was established after ongoing concerns from the community about the behavior of car enthusiasts in the Port Botany, La Parouse and Brighton Le Sands areas,”

Understandably, those involved descended on the Roads and Traffic Authority impound lot to protest the police action where authorities responded by calling out the riot squad despite no reports of violence.

Car confiscation is becoming a big business here in Australia, with the Victorian government generating over $1 million in net revenue in less than a year from 3,437 auctioned vehicles.

This figure is set to rise with the confiscated Ford Falcon GT to be sold at police auction. Another GT, three Holden Commodores, a Holden Utility, Holden Torana and a Nissan 200SX will be held for a minimum of three months for violating anti-hoon statutes.

Are these anti-hoon laws or anti-enthusiast laws? Voice your opinion by leaving a comment below and let local Government know what they can do to better facilitate motoring enthusiasts.

George Skentzos




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