Queensland passes nation's toughest anti-hoon laws

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The Queensland Government has passed tough new anti-hoon laws that will see repeat offenders' cars crushed or sold.Passed last night, the country's toughest anti-hooning penalties will place drivers who commit two serious hooning offences within five years at risk of having their car confiscated indefinitely, sold or crushed as part of changes to the Police Powers and Responsibilities (Motor Vehicle Impoundment) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012.Under the new stricter two-strike policy, those who commit Type 1 offences, which include dangerously operating a motor vehicle, racing and participating in speed trials on roads, wilfully starting a motor vehicle or driving a motor vehicle in a way that makes unnecessary noise or smoke, and evading police, will have their cars taken off the road for 90 days for a first offence and confiscated and either sold or crushed if a second hooning offence is committed within a five-year period.Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey said the community and the Queensland Government were sick and tired of hoons driving dangerously on public roads.“Hooning such as racing and driving recklessly in the suburbs is not only socially unacceptable, it is outright dangerous and places the lives of all road users at risk,” Dempsey said.“In the past we have even seen hoons lose control of their vehicles before ploughing into yards and houses injuring and, in some cases, taking the lives of innocent people.”Dempsey said the new laws were intended to address community frustration in the previous laws put in place by the former Labor Government.“Under Labor more than 92 per cent of vehicles previously impounded ended up back on the road.“We are telling the people of Queensland that the police now have the legislative tools to truly put the brakes on hoons.”While the new laws have been passed through State Parliament, they won’t come into effect for six months as logistics and community education about the new penalties are finalised as requested by the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee.According to the Queensland Government, there have been a total of 716 recorded offences and 556 recorded cars impounded over the past 12 months across the state.