Has the Liberal Party gone a little too far with automatic vehicle confiscation?

Liberals propose new first strike law to seize hoons' cars | News.com.au

WA'S worst hoons will have their cars taken off them for good on their first strike under tough new penalties promised by Premier Colin Barnett if his Government is re-elected.

In what some may view as a step too far, the Liberal party have promised to take people's cars off them permanently after just one offence of something as simple as leaving tyre marks on the road, or causing anyone "distress" on the road.

The rules may seem somewhat subjective, and invite more incidents like when the Perth Doctor had his Lamborghini confiscated, after his mechanic was caught speeding in it.

Just to be clear, one mistake on the road made by you, hoon or not, that is deemed to be "distressful" in nature, can result in you losing your vehicle permanently. You could  screech your tyres, or drive into a fence, and you will have your vehicle taken from you.

Shane Van Styn, Nationals candidate for Geraldton in the upcoming state election, had this to say when asked for comment regarding these proposed new laws.

Automatic hoon laws are an effective extension of judicial powers to the Police executive that have the possibility to cause significant harm to an individual for what may be a very minor offence.

We are seeing an incredibly dangerous escalation of the use of reverse burden of proof in society and further tendency to remove judicial administration of punishment.  One such set of laws, the so called “stop and search laws” were an example of where a person’s right to go about their lives without being man handled and searched for absolutely no reason, was to be removed. Scary stuff.

Laws that impose automatic sentences upon people based on nothing more than a single individual’s assessment of interpretative law should not be allowed. Suggesting that one’s transport that one relies on to pay the rent, can be confiscated because another believes their wheels spun is so incredibly draconian that people should rightfully be concerned.

We have courts to administer punishment to ensure that those punished actually deserve to be punished. It is the only chance people get to defend themselves.

Now I am not saying that dangerous hoon behaviour should be condoned, but if we are to commence enforcing a Police state I think we should be waiting for a far more dire set of circumstances than a tyre spinning.

Are there ways of tackling the problem of dangerous drivers other than just using a big stick?

Jason Smith

Founder of Everything Geraldton, Everything Mandurah, & Everything Perth. Law Student. Father, Husband, Bitcoin, Cigars.