Coalition launches car confiscation plan

The Daily Telegraph

Wednesday 15 January 2003

DISQUALIFIED drivers caught behind the wheel would have their cars confiscated and sold under a Coalition plan.

Opposition Leader John Brogden yesterday said disqualified drivers were responsible for many serious offences and should not be on the road.

NSW police and the courts would be given the power to confiscate a vehicle and sell it if the owner reoffended.

The length of confiscation would equal the disqualification period.

The sanctions would be in addition to the existing penalties of fines up to $5500 and two years' jail.

“People who have had their licence disqualified by the courts have displayed a reckless disregard for community safety,” Mr Brogden said.

“If they choose to drive whilst disqualified they should face the courts and risk having their car confiscated and sold.”

Proceeds of the sale would be returned to theowner once fines, court and impoundment costs had been deducted.

The number of disqualified driving offences increased by almost 2500 between 1999 and 2001.

“The Coalition believes more needs to be done to see that people who flout the law by driving while disqualified are prevented from further endangering the community,” Mr Brogden said.

Studies have found disqualified drivers are also more likely to drive while intoxicated, speed and not wear seatbelts.

Pedestrian Council chairman Harold Scruby welcomed the Coalition's plan but said it should be extended to include those who have never held a licence and cancelled drivers.

“One in every 20 cars coming at you has an unlicensed driver in it. It's pretty frightening,” Mr Scruby said.

“They don't have any respect for the law and the current methods aren't working.”