The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday 29 August 2004


Drivers face car seizure


By police writer RHETT WATSON

UNLICENSED drivers caught behind the wheel would lose their vehicles under a plan by a road-safety group.

Five years ago, New Zealand began impounding the vehicles of unlicensed drivers for 28 days.

About 1000 cars are seized each month, and there was a 40 per cent drop in the number of unlicensed drivers caught during the 12 months after the measure was introduced.

The Pedestrian Council of Australia wants to see the same measure in NSW to tackle what its chair-man, Harold Scruby, says is an epidemic.


In 2002, nearly 14,000 motorists were found guilty of unlicensed driving in NSW - a 14 per cent rise since 2000.

"If it works in New Zealand, it can work here," Mr Scruby said.

The NRMA has backed an investigation into the scheme, provided it examines the effect on the families of offenders whose cars would be seized.