Do you like to take your car out on the weekend, show off to your mates, and see how fast it can go? Well, Western Australia’s tough hoon laws may see your car permanently confiscated if you’re not careful. The Road Traffic Amendment (Impounding and Confiscation of Vehicles) Act 2004 and the Road Traffic Amendment (Hoons) Act 2009 (more commonly known as the “Hoon Laws”), are designed to prevent organised street racing and reckless driving, and have resulted in the confiscation of dozens of cars since inception.
What is hooning?
The term “hooning” covers any act performed with a vehicle that is considered to be a danger to other road users. The behaviour can include doing burn outs, street racing, careless driving or exceeding the speed limit by 45km/hour. However, if this doesn’t describe you, you can still be charged under the hoon laws if the police believe you were driving recklessly.
What are the penalties for hooning?
For offences that fall under the hoon legislation the police can confiscate you car for 28 days if it is your first offence; three months for your second offence, and for your third offence your car can be confiscated or impounded for six months. There will also be fines and other penalties possibly imposed at the discretion of the Magistrate, depending on the severity of the offence.
What if I own the car but I wasn’t driving?
If you have loaned your car to your friend, and they were subsequently charged with honing in it, it will still be impounded, regardless of your personal circumstances and how much you may rely on your car. The driver of the vehicle will be responsible for the impoundment costs and towing costs, but if they fail to pay then you may have no option but to pay the fees before your car will be released.