Hoons ride on easy street as Labor pumps the brakes on crushing cars

Sunday 10 December, 2023

Hoons and other dangerous drivers are being let off the hook, with the number of crushed cars and motorcycles dropping by a significant amount - despite South Australia’s surging road toll which is one of the worst in decades.

On the back of telling Freedom of Information documents, the Opposition is concerned that the Malinauskas Labor Government isn’t doing enough to curb the tragic road toll which now stands at 105 lives lost.

The revelations heap further pressure on embattled Minister Joe Szakacs who is lurching from one failure to another and simply isn’t doing enough to keep South Australians safe.

SAPOL documents show just 360 vehicles have been crushed this year up until the end of October. It’s a massive drop from the 914 vehicles crushed during 2022.

Year Amount
2020 530
2021 567
2022 914
2023 YTD 360
Total 2371

There have been 105 fatalities this year compared to 66 at the same time in 2022.

In the western suburbs alone there has been a 700 per cent increase in lives lost.

On Friday, a 25-year-old learner rider had his motorbike impounded after he allegedly led police on a pursuit through the Adelaide Hills while under the influence of alcohol. SAPOL believes he was travelling at 150km/h in a 110km/h zone.

And just a week ago, a 20-year-old and 18-year-old were allegedly street racing and clocked driving 167km/h in the 60km/h zone in Holden Hill. Their cars were impounded but it is unclear if they will be crushed.

The offences that triggered the most vehicle crushes in 2023 were:

  • Driving while disqualified - 144
  • Driving unlicensed where never having held a licence - 55
  • Driving unlicensed after previously being disqualified drug driving offence - 37
  • Driving under the influence - 37

Shadow Minister for Road Safety, Vincent Tarzia, described South Australia’s road toll as “out of control” and “tragic” heading into Christmas.

“It makes no sense that South Australia’s road toll is at record levels, yet Labor has slowed down when it comes to crushing cars and making an example out of hoons and dangerous drivers,” Mr Tarzia said.

“This year’s road toll is devastating yet we still have instances where young drivers have allegedly been caught speeding more than 100km/h over the limit. Road behaviour like that warrants severe action and punishment, like car crushing.

“It appears that hoons and dangerous drivers are being given a free ride under Labor – adding to the growing list of failures under their Police Minister, Joe Szakacs.

“Not only has Joe Szakacs overseen one of South Australia’s worst road tolls in recent memory, but he has been slow to act on our CBD crime wave, has done little to fix critical police officer shortages and hasn’t done enough to keep South Australians safe from potentially dangerous immigration detainees who have been released into the community.

“Any life lost is tragic and we need Labor and Joe Szakacs to take this issue seriously and commit to initiatives that we know deter dangerous driving and save lives. Crushing vehicles is clearly one of those initiatives.

“Labor needs to explain why they’ve suddenly stopped crushing vehicles.”