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The Deputy Premier John Rau and Minister for Police Michael O’Brien released this statement today:- The State Government has resumed the crushing of hoon cars, with three vehicles publicly destroyed today after multiple driving offences by their owners.
It follows an unsuccessful challenge to the validity of anti-hoon laws which began last October when a Port Pirie man was ordered to forfeit his car after his third drink driving conviction in a decade.
Attorney-General John Rau said a ruling last month by the full bench of the Supreme Court has allowed the State Government to resume enforcing the tough laws, putting dangerous and recidivist driving offenders on notice.
“Our message is very clear. Individuals who put cheap thrills ahead of the safety of others, or who continually choose to flout the law, will have their vehicles taken off the road and sold or destroyed,” Mr Rau said.
“We will hit you where it hurts and take away your prized possession and your main means of transport.”
Police Minister Michael O’Brien said SAPOL is continuing to review approximately 400 cases which met forfeiture criteria but could not be acted upon because of the legal challenge.
“Each case is being reviewed and forfeiture orders will be sought where appropriate,” Mr O’Brien said.
Under the Criminal Law (Clamping, Impounding and Forfeiture of Vehicles) Act 2007, a vehicle will be forfeited if a driver commits a forfeiture offence such as death or harm by dangerous driving or dangerous driving to escape police pursuit.
Vehicles can also be forfeited if drivers commit two prescribed offences within 12 months or three within 10 years. These offences include driving at excessive speed, dangerous driving, drink driving or driving unregistered or unlicensed.
Mr O’Brien said forfeited vehicles will either be:
• Sold at auction (as long as the vehicle is safe to sell and there are no illegal modifications), with proceeds going to victims of crime.
• Publicly crushed and disposed of as scrap metal.
• Destroyed (crushed or shredded) away from the public at a commercial premises and disposed of as scrap metal.
The three cars to be publicly crushed today include a Ford Fairmont sedan, a Holden Statesman sedan and a Mazda MX6 sedan. The vehicles were forfeited following a combined 40 prescribed driving offences by their owners.
SAPOL figures for the 2011/12 financial year show almost 8000 vehicles were clamped or impounded, 26 were sold, 178 destroyed and six publicly crushed.