Hoons leading police on high-speed chases in Victoria will soon risk a three-year jail sentence, Police and Emergency Services Minister Peter Ryan announced this week.
The news follows the release of a report earlier this year, revealing that more than 30 people had died on Victorian roads since 2002 as a result of police chases. Six of those had occurred in the months since July 2011.
Ryan said the new laws, which would include a mandatory 12 month licence suspension and join the existing 30 to 90 day vehicle confiscation rules, will save lives.
“There were more than 720 pursuits on Victoria’s roads in 2011 putting the lives and safety of road users and police at risk,” Mr Ryan said.
“Incidents of police pursuits in Victoria has increased annually since 2002 and these new stronger laws will help police crack-down on this dangerous practice."
Mr Ryan said the new pursuit laws will clarify that even if a pursuit must be abandoned, or the speed of a police vehicle does not match the speed of the offending vehicle, the offence still stands when the offender is caught.
The Victorian Coalition Government's hoon laws, introduced in 2011, have seen the number of vehicles impounded increase to 4140 - a 20 percent increase over the previous financial year.