Steane Klose | Apr 30, 2008

Is Victoria the hoon capital of Australia? Anti-hoon legislation was introduced in Victoria in July 2006 which allows Police to confiscate (usually for 48hrs) the cars of drivers caught ‘hooning’ and the police have been ‘making hay while the sun shines’.

Since the legislations inception almost 4,400 cars have been confiscated by police – a staggering figure. Of the cars impounded, 1,954 belonged to P-plate drivers and even more concerning was the fact that 191 belonged to L-plate drivers, who by law are accompanied by a person who holds a full license. The figures highlight the fact that while the police are taking the job of reducing hooning seriously, some serious issues in the lack of driver training and education of our young drivers is blatantly obvious.

Police Minister Bob Cameron agreed that the figures are frightening.

"To have an inexperienced person driving in a dangerous and reckless fashion is obviously unacceptable, but it is truly frightening when they are in the car with someone who should know better," said Mr Cameron.

Mr Cameron pointed out that of the 4,393 cars confiscated only 168 were repeat offenders, an indication that the system was working. The fact that more than 4,000 cars have been confiscated in 21 months would indicate to us that the overall licensing ‘system’ is not even close to working.

The root cause of the problem as any rational person would understand is that obtaining a probationary drivers license is simply a matter of completing a basic written assessment and a basic road test that ensures a new driver can negotiate traffic while obeying the road rules – and most important of all, execute a successful reverse parking manouvre. There is no mandatory education on the dangers associated with driving and no advanced driving skills development training.

Of course, the government’s response is to implement a new advertising campaign that encourages Victorians to “dob in a hoon” – that’s obviously in addition to dobbing in a tax cheat or dobbing on the neighbours for watering their roses.

Whilst our leaders are keen to see us become a nation of “dobbers” they seem less concerned about practically training us to become a nation of good drivers.

[Source: Daily Telegraph]

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