Car owners with overdue traffic fines will be caught up in the crackdown on boy racers, with the Government announcing legislation that would allow their cars to be seized and sold.
Transport Minister Steven Joyce and Police Minister Judith Collins announced the move today and said it would send a strong message to illegal street racers that dangerous, disruptive and "antisocial use of vehicles" will no longer be tolerated.
But it will also allow authorities to seize the car of anyone with an overdue fine and sell it off to meet the costs.
Under the legislation:
* A new penalty for illegal street racing would allow vehicles to be seized and destroyed.
* Vehicles used by people with overdue traffic fines can be seized and sold to pay those fines.
* Local authorities will be able to create bylaws prevent vehicles repeatedly "cruising" city streets.
* Vehicles involved in illegal street racing will be impounded* Demerit points will be given for noise offences, licence breaches and registration plate offences. Repeat offenders will lose their licences rather than just accrue fines.
What do we think? It's a darned good start. Of course, the proof of the pudding will be in the eating, but surely these proposed law changes send a message to the anti-social element within the boy-racer community (and we freely acknowledge that not all boy-or-girl-racers fit that description) that the powers of the state are extensive, and that the consequences will be punitive. To hear of young drivers racking up tens of thousands of dollars of traffic fines without any consequences is alarming, and hopefully, the threat of a prized vehicle being seized or crushed will get their attention. As will the bill from the finance company!
Well done Crusher Collins!
UPDATE: The Herald is now covering the story, leading with this classic quote from Judith "Crusher" Collins:
Police Minister Judith Collins says boy racers should fear legislation being introduced to Parliament today because "every new offence will bring them closer to the crusher".