In brief - Vehicles can be immobilised, impounded or forfeited
for offences under new laws
Business owners need to be aware that under the new anti-hooning
legislation passed in Queensland, vehicles can be taken off the
road immediately and penalties increase for second and subsequent
Offending driver not necessarily the owner of the vehicle
New anti-hooning and road safety legislation came into effect in
Queensland on 1 November 2013, delivering the toughest vehicle
impoundment laws in Australia. (See Police Powers And
Responsibilities (Motor Vehicle Impoundment) and Other Legislation
Amendment Act 2013 No. 15.)
The new legislation can have far reaching consequences for
owners of vehicles who are not necessarily the offending driver.
Under the new legislation, vehicles can be impounded for seven or
90 days, depending on the type of offence committed by the driver
that might trigger the impounding or immobilisation of a
Range of penalties for Type 1 and Type 2 offences under
The offences range from being involved in street racing (Type 1)
down to unlicensed driving, high range drink driving, exceeding the
speed limit by more than 40 kilometres per hour, driving a vehicle
that is both uninsured and unregistered; and non-compliance with
vehicle standards and safety regulations offences (Type 2).
The timeframes for impounding or immobilisation also depend on
the type of offence, with Type 1 offences involving a 90 day
vehicle impoundment for a first offence and the vehicle being
forfeited for a second offence. For Type 2 offences, the first
offence will result in a warning, but the length of impounding
increases to seven days, 90 days and forfeiture for each subsequent
The relevant period for the committing of the Type 1 or Type 2
offence is five years and the second and subsequent offences do not
need to be the same type as the first offence.
Applications for early release of impounded vehicles
The only way to have your vehicle released before the expiration
of the impound or immobilisation period is to apply to the
Commissioner of Police for early release. The application can only
be made in certain circumstances, such as severe hardship or the
offence occurring without the owner's consent.
The Commissioner of Police (or its delegate) will have five
business days to determine the Application for Early Release.
What should you do to protect your business and its
Because the purpose of the legislation is to stop repeat
offenders in their tracks by taking vehicles off the road
immediately, this could have far reaching and immediate
consequences for a business.
For this reason, it important that businesses:
Take an active interest in the traffic history of drivers by
undertaking regular traffic history checks
Consult with employed and contract drivers regarding the
refreshed safety management procedures to be reconfirmed
Meet the requirements of the Work Health and Safety Act
Ensure that all vehicles are operated safely and within
traffic, weight and dimensions legal requirements at all times
Conduct regular audits to ensure that the appropriate
driver's license is held by employed or contract drivers
Consult with employed and contract drivers to formalise the
company policy that it is a condition of employment or work
requirements that all drivers maintain a clean traffic history and
notify the company immediately of any traffic infringements that
may occur in any vehicle at any time
Implement a company policy regarding safe driving practices and
the consequences of having a vehicle be the subject of an impound
or immobilisation notice
Implement procedures in the event that a vehicle is the subject
of an impound or immobilisation notice
Formalise vehicle maintenance procedures to ensure that the
vehicle fleet remains registered, insured and compliant with
vehicle safety standards
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
The Practice Note is intended to facilitate the just, quick and cheap resolution of proceedings before the District Court. It applies to all matters in the General List in the Sydney, Gosford and Newcastle Registries. The Practice Note commenced on 7 September 2009.
The High Court upheld the RTA's appeal in overturning the New South Wales Court of Appeal's judgment in relation to a 14 year old plaintiff who was rendered partially paraplegic when he dived off a bridge in Forster, New South Wales.
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