Car impoundments hit 1500 in central Victoria

CENTRAL Victorian police have taken 1501 vehicles off the road since the start of the hoon impoundment scheme in 2006. 

Senior Sergeant Paul Gardiner from Bendigo’s highway patrol said there had been 1501 impoundments for central Victoria which includes Macedon Ranges, Mount Alexander, Central Goldfields, Loddon, Greater Bendigo and Campaspe local government areas.

So far this year, there have been 136 vehicles impounded in Bendigo. A breakdown of police statistics shows: 47 of those vehicles were impounded for unlicensed, suspended or disqualified driving; 42 for improper use or careless driving; 20 for excessive speed; 10 for overloading; and seven court-ordered impounds. 

“We are continually targeting drivers doing the wrong things on our roads,” Senior Sergeant Gardiner said.

“If you have committed a relevant offence in respect of vehicle impoundment legislation, we will impound your vehicle for 30 days and release of your vehicle will be at a substantial cost.” Senior Sergeant Gardiner said Bendigo had been labelled “the hoon capital” but it was all about proactive policing.

“In the community it’s perhaps perceived that there’s a greater problem that there actually is,” he said.

“The reason we sit on the top of the pile a lot of the time is because of how we enforce it.” 

Senior Sergeant Gardiner is driving a push to move away from the word “hoon”.

He said, according to the latest statistics, 41 of the impoundments were for unlicensed, suspended and disqualified driving, not for improper use of a vehicle.

“It’s not just about people doing burnouts – the legislation allows us to impound vehicles for a wider range of offences,” Senior Sergeant Gardiner said. 

Deputy Premier and Police and Emergency Services Minister Peter Ryan said young males made up 96 per cent of hoon drivers. 

He said 20,000 vehicles had been impounded in Victoria since 2006.

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