MORE than 500 vehicles have been impounded in the south-west since the state government introduced its hoon laws in 2006.
Figures released by the state government this week show that 188 vehicles were impounded in the Warrnambool Police Service Area (PSA) from July 1, 2006 to September 30 this year.
The Warrnambool PSA extends from Camperdown to Mortlake and Port Fairy.
A further 126 vehicles were impounded during the same period in the Southern Grampians PSA and 191 in the Surf Coast PSA that extends from Anglesea to Colac.
The 505 vehicles impounded in the south-west were part of more than 20,000 vehicles impounded in Victoria since the start of the hoon impoundment scheme in 2006.
State Police Minister Peter Ryan said the impoundments sent a strong message that dangerous and anti-social driving behaviour would not be tolerated.
“Hoon behaviour, including high-level speeding, poses a significant road safety risk and is something the Victorian Coalition government, Victoria Police and road safety partners have been working hard to stamp out,” Mr Ryan said.
He said since hoon driving laws were strengthened last year, the number of vehicle impoundments had increased by about 20 per cent, to more than 4140, compared with the previous financial year.
“Offenders who have their vehicles impounded incur significant costs to obtain the vehicle’s release, as well as pay penalties and incur demerit points in relation to the offences committed.
“In certain circumstances, offenders’ vehicles can be sold or disposed of with the proceeds going towards the cost of the program or other road safety measures.”
Mr Ryan said under the new laws police could impound vehicles for 30 days and extend this period further for repeat offenders.
“Young males make up 96 per cent of hoon drivers, with the top three offences resulting in vehicle impoundment being excessive speed (45 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit); improper use of motor vehicle (loss of traction offences); and driving whilst disqualified or suspended.”
He said the most common types of vehicles impounded were Holdens, Fords, Nissans, Toyotas and Hondas.