Steane Klose | May 1, 2008

The Sunshine state looks set to crack down on drivers who continue to drive when their licenses have been disqualified. A recent trial that has led to the impounding of cars belonging to 866 repeat unlicensed drivers looks likely to extend throughout Queensland.

The repeat offenders will be required to pay the costs involved in having their car impounded – if they can’t meet these costs then their car will be sold and the proceeds used to pay these costs. It would be interesting to know how the Queensland government plans to sell cars that are under finance as title of these vehicles generally rests with the finance provider, not the repeat offending driver.

"These are people who generally have thousands of dollars owing to the state and are not paying off those fines," said Police Minister Judy Spence.

To give you some idea just what police are up against, a recent Queensland police operation in Oxley, south-west of Brisbane led to 90 drivers appearing in court on the same day. They were all on charges that would likely lead to a period of license disqualification. Nine of those who lost their license on the day left the court and attempted to drive home! Predictably, they were stopped by the police outside the courthouse and booked again.

"We all live by the rule of law, ultimately that law is determined in the courts, and for someone to walk out of the court room having just been disqualified ... and drive away, I mean that is the ultimate defiance," said Police Commissioner Mr Bob Atkinson.

According to the Police, disqualified drivers are more likely to engage in high-risk behaviour and in 2003 were involved in 4.5 percent of Queensland road fatalities, a figure which rose to a staggering 9.2 percent in 2007.

[Source: The West]

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