12 November 2007

hitting hoons where it hurts

The Los Angeles Times reported on 11 October 2007 about illegal street racing and the deadly toll it causes. One of the solutions reported was
Authorities are trying some new tactics to stop street racers, including forcing repeat offenders to watch as their cars are crushed into scrap metal and using smog laws to go after people who have souped up their cars.
The New South Wales government has just announced a similar measure, and will go one step further and use hoon cars for crash tests. Unfortunately, they won't be using hoons as crash test dummies. From Sydney Morning Herald
We'll destroy hoons' cars - and video it'
November 12, 2007 - 8:05AM

Car hoons will be penalised and humiliated under a NSW government initiative to wreck the vehicles of offenders and publish video footage of the destruction.

Premier Morris Iemma says the plan proposes to destroy hoons' cars in demonstration tests under controlled conditions.

"Car hoons engage in potentially lethal, property destroying, anti-social behaviour," Mr Iemma said in a statement today.

"We're turning the tables. We'll destroy their property - but do it for the right reasons."

Police Minister David Campbell said film of the cars being destroyed would be publicly released.

"Video footage of these once-prized possessions being turned into splintered, twisted scrap will be the clearest message yet to hoons that we're serious about stamping out their behaviour and saving lives in the process."

The comments come after a weekend when police confiscated four cars whose drivers were allegedly racing on suburban Sydney streets.

In separate incidents on Saturday night, two 23-year-old men, one a provisional licence holder, a 19-year-old man and 29-year-old man had their cars confiscated by police and were ordered to face court for street racing.

Mr Iemma said the plan to destroy hoons' cars would provide valuable controlled crash statistics, and footage of the destruction would be used as a deterrent to wannabe hoons, while also educating young drivers.

"The modified, loud and often illegal vehicles confiscated from car hoons will be smashed to pieces in our crash labs, the results filmed and analysed, and the wrecks shown to other young drivers as a warning," Mr Iemma said.

"The RTA will also use the unique tests to investigate the potential effects of certain modifications on overall crashworthiness.

"And we'll show the wrecks at education days for young drivers, or at other RTA presentations."

Offenders would have to be convicted of street racing before the vehicles could be destroyed.

I think this approach is called public shaming and a punishment, not a deterrent. The stakes are now just that much higher.

I reckon this is a better idea, with the wreck delivered back to the owner as a reminder.

Monday. Another four days to go before the weekend.


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