In Law & Order

Western Australia Minister for Road Safety Rob Johnson

Crushing Of WA’s First Vehicle Confiscated Under Unlicensed Driver Laws

Victor P Taffa

The first vehicle confiscated under Western Australia’s Unlicensed Driver Laws was crushed today.

Police and Road Safety Minister Rob Johnson said WA Police had successfully applied to the courts to have the vehicle, a 1989 Mitsubishi Galant hatchback, permanently confiscated after its owner was caught for unlicensed driving offences on three occasions in less than a year.

Mr. Johnson said he hoped today’s crushing of the first vehicle under the legislation, introduced on July 1, 2009, would send a clear message to anyone driving without a licence.

“My message to unlicensed drivers is simple if you get behind the wheel, you will be caught and you will lose your vehicle.” the Minister said.

“While most drivers do the right thing and use our roads responsibly, there are some who continue to snub their nose at the law and at the safety of others.”

“About 20 % of unlicensed drivers are involved in serious crashes in WA, posing a serious threat to themselves and other road users.” Mr. Johnson said.

“Unlicensed motorists, along with hoon drivers, put lives at risk and do not deserve to be on our roads.”

The Minister said today’s vehicle was crushed due to its low-value.  The community had benefited from the confiscation as the vehicle’s engine and gearbox had been donated for students to use in their mechanical studies at the Swan TAFE Carlisle Campus.

In November 2009, the vehicle of a repeat reckless driver was the first car to be crushed under the State’s Hoon Laws.

Under the Unlicensed Driver Laws, if a person is detected driving without a valid licence, WA Police will impound the vehicle on-the-spot for 28 days.

If a person is caught for their third offence, the Police Commissioner can apply to a court to have the offender’s vehicle permanently confiscated.  It is then crushed or sold, with proceeds from the sale going to road safety projects.

From July 2009 to August 2010, WA Police have impounded 10, 333 vehicles under the Unlicensed Driver Legislation.

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