The Centralian advocate Tue 15 Apr 2008
Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
v. 61 no. 93
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
Nationwide News Pty. Limited
4 Centralian Advocate, Tuesday, April 15, 2008 P U B : C A D V D A T E : 1 5 -A P R -2 0 0 8 P A G E : 4 C O L O R : C M Y K 1 6 4 2 0 2 /0 8 ANTI-HOONING LAWS Seizure of hoons cars on agenda Carenda Jenkin A PLAN to give police special powers to confiscate cars from hoons without notice is to be subject to a road safety body review. The NT Transport Minister, Delia Lawrie, said this week she will wait for the committees recommendations before considering strengthening the Territorys anti-hooning laws. The no-nonsense proposal is to strengthen the NTs 2004 antihooning legislation. Burnouts, doughnuts, drag racing and other loutish behaviour and dangerous road offences would be enough for officers to confiscate cars. And repeat drink-drivers and speedsters could come under the same umbrella. At the moment, police have powers to give hoons a fine and an anti-hoon notice for their first offence. Their car is impounded for 48 hours after their second indiscretion. For a third offence it is three months, and permanently if the driver is convicted of a fourth breach of the law. Ms Lawrie said: Hooning behaviour endangers lives. It is both stupid and dangerous. We introduced anti-hooning legislation in 2004 and promised a review within five years. The review has been undertaken and I will be looking at the recommendations from the expert road safety co-ordination group on hoons to see if changes need to be made. The opposition has thrown its support behind the review. Deputy opposition leader Fay Miller said there should be tougher penalties for speedsters, and passenger restrictions for probationary drivers should be enforced as well. She said: The introduction of these policies in NSW has seen a 45 per cent drop in road fatalities among probationary drivers in that state. Dragsters: Beat the Heat Carenda Jenkin DRAG kings want to join forces with Alice Springs police to stamp out illegal street racers in the town. Central Australian Drag Racing Associ ation vice president Ray Baney has called for an Alice Springsown Beat the Heat program to be established at the local track, south of town. Beat the Heat, which has been running in Darwin since 2003, is a chance for rev-heads to take part in off-street racing safely and legally. But Mr Baney labelled NT Polices new proposal to take cars off hoons without a warning as unfair. The man who has been drag racing since 1971 said: Have they looked at alternatives? Perhaps its time we got together with the police and have our own Beat the Heat. I watched a race in Darwin in 2005 and everyone was having a bit of fun on the track legally and safely. I mean I love doing burnouts and I get to enjoy that under strict conditions at the newly-built dragway now. Theres no excuse for people doing that on our public streets. An alternative would be a diversion program like if the police catch hoons then send them to us and well teach them about safe street racing. Officer-in-charge of the Southern Region Traffic Unit Sergeant Conan Robertson said CADRA would have to apply for a Beat the Heat race through Darwin because police had only one racing car. Sgt Robertson said: Anything to reduce hooning is a great initiative but whether it is good in the longterm, Im not prepared to comment. Transport Minister Delia Lawrie said CADRA would be the ideal group to work with youths to take hoons off our roads. Matthew and Sean Baney with their Torana used for the Alice Springs Dragstrip say local hoons are giving drag racers a bad name. Picture: JUSTIN BRIERTY What about drunks . .? Carenda Jenkin MATT Baney blames hoons for giving revheads like him a bad name. The 23-year-old, who drives his beefed-up 1978 Torana LX on the drag strip south of Alice Springs, believes police should focus their new proposal on drunk drivers. Mr Baney said police should take cars off drink drivers without notice, rather than hoons. The apprentice electrician said: They should impound cars from drink drivers. They cause more death and injury on the roads. I mean we get hoons going down our road all hours of the night in their bombs as fast as they can. That annoys me but more lives are taken by drink drivers than hoons. Mr Baneys car is his pride and joy. On a drag strip, under strict conditions, he can race a quarter-mile in 14 seconds at more than 160km per hour. The car enthusiast said people should hoon at Alice Springs new drag strip and be timed. Mr Baney said: I think the reason why people dont come and join the club at the drag is that if they are timed they get more embarrassed for not doing so well. Alice Springs lawyer Peer Schroter agrees with the car enthusiasts idea that the proposal should be more focused on drink drivers. Povey Stirks Mr Schroter said: Look, all of that is good stuff about taking cars off hoons without notice, but what it doesnt do is address drink driv ing. I support any strict approach to help make the Territory roads safe. My view is while hooning is dangerous, drink driving is more prevalent here than hooning. There are more idiots drink driving on our roads all you have to do is go to court and see that. Mr Schroter does not represent repeat offenders who drink and drive because of moral objections. He told the Centralian Advocate last year: Why should I defend someone if they got drunk and killed you and your kids? They deserve to be thrown in jail.
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