Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3812..
Mr Smyth , pursuant to notice, presented the bill and its explanatory memorandum.
Title read by Clerk.
MR SMYTH (Minister for Urban Services) (11.13): I move:
That this bill be agreed to in principle.
Mr Speaker, this bill proposes that the police and the courts may impound vehicles used in road rage offences. Road rage is a serious driving offence that is becoming far too prevalent in the ACT. There have been several cases recently that have resulted in drivers being seriously injured by other drivers who have purposely interfered with and assaulted them.
The knowledge that the vehicle may be seized following an alleged road rage offence will provide a very clear message and deterrent to people who menace others on the road. The immediate loss of the vehicle, even if only for a short time, can often have a greater impact on a driver's behaviour than the thought that other penalties may be imposed at a later date.
The road transport legislation already provides that vehicles used in burnout or racing offences may be impounded by the police or the courts. The bill proposes that police officers may seize a vehicle where they have witnessed an incident of menacing behaviour. Vehicles may also be impounded where the courts so order, following application from the police.
The existing provisions for the impounding of vehicles associated with burnout or racing offences include the procedures for notifying the registered operator of the seizure, the storage, the safe keeping and the release of such vehicles. This bill specifies that these provisions also apply to seizures associated with road rage offences.
The option of seizing a vehicle gives the police and the courts an additional way of preventing a driver from being involved in further incidents of road rage.
Debate (on motion by Mr Hargreaves ) adjourned to the next sitting.
MR MOORE (Minister for Health, Housing and Community Care) (11.15): Mr Speaker, I move:
That the resolution of the Assembly of 28 April 1998, as amended on 25 November 1999, which appointed the General Purpose Standing Committees for this Assembly, be amended by: