Drive safe or foot the bill for bad road behaviour

Thursday 01 July, 2021

Payment plans are off the table for motorists who risk lives by driving dangerously, while under the influence or at speed as tough new impound penalties come into effect today.

To stamp out irresponsible road behaviour, vehicles confiscated by SAPOL now cost $1,135.50 (minimum fee) to release from impound after 28 days.

At the conclusion of the mandatory 28-day period, offenders will have 10 additional days to pay the fee – which could jump as high as $1,395.50 – before SAPOL sell or crush the vehicle.

In the first instance, SAPOL will assess the value of the vehicle and initiate cost recovery.

Road Safety Minister Vincent Tazia reminded drivers of the costly – and deadly – consequences of bad road behaviour.

“This is a road safety plea – and warning – for all motorists to do the right thing. Follow the rules and you have nothing to worry about,” Minister Tarzia said.

“In the past we have seen hoons go on payment plans for years on end, essentially fast-tracking the return of their vehicle after the impound period ends without paying the price.

“That is unacceptable, and it comes to an end today. Vehicles, if used irresponsibly, are weapons in the wrong hands and reckless road users need to be held to account.”

The new penalties are a result of an amendment to the Criminal Law (Clamping, Impounding and Forfeiture of Vehicles) Act 2007.

Money collected from the sale and scrapping of vehicles must be used to cover related fees. A court order may be issued to pay a credit provider before remaining money is returned to general revenue.

Offenders can request to have their vehicle destroyed – at a cost of $320 – instead of paying the impound fee.

Vehicles can be impounded or clamped if a person has been charged, arrested or reported for up to 23 prescribed offences including dangerous driving, drink and drug driving, driving an unregistered or uninsured vehicle or without a licence, speeding, leaving the scene of an accident, failing to obey police, or misuse of a motor vehicle.

Credit card facilities are available at metropolitan impound yards with cash and credit cards accepted at all police stations.

The Marshall Liberal Government is calling on the public to also take a tough stance against dangerous drivers.

Use the Traffic Watch App to dob in hoons 24/7 or call 131 444 to make a report.