Queensland's anti-hoon laws, already considered the toughest in the country, have just gotten even tougher.
The state's Parliament has passed new legislation that makes it illegal to be a spectator at a group hooning event, to organize or promote such an event, and to possess items used to facilitate such events.
“If you want to tear up our roads, we'll tear up your car. If you want to be a spectator at a hooning event, you will be breaking the law. If you promote a hooning event, it will be an offense.”
This new suite of laws also includes provisions that make it illegal to film or photograph hooning events for the purposes of promoting or organizing them. The government is firm on its stance that these tough measures are necessary because the cost of road trauma in Queensland is significant.
According to the Queensland Road Safety Strategy, the economic cost of road trauma in 2020 was estimated to be $6 billion dollars, and road trauma accounts for almost 15% of hospital admissions. These figures don't take into account the immeasurable emotional and psychological costs to the people directly affected by a death or life-changing disability caused by road accidents.
The government believes that these tough new laws will send a clear message to those who engage in dangerous driving and hooning-related behavior. Police Minister Mark Ryan said, "If you want to tear up our roads, we'll tear up your car. If you want to be a spectator at a hooning event, you will be breaking the law. If you promote a hooning event, it will be an offense."
The police commissioner, Katarina Carroll, emphasized that dangerous driving and hooning-related behaviour endanger not only those behind the wheel but also innocent members of the public. The police will continue to target these individuals relentlessly, and anyone taking part in high-risk activities on the road will be investigated and have enforcement action taken against them.
With these new laws, Queensland now has the most stringent anti-hooning framework in the country. The state already has impoundment or forfeiture of motor vehicles and deeming legislation, which puts the onus on the owner of a vehicle caught hooning to prove they weren't the driver.
The government hopes that these new laws will act as a strong deterrent to dangerous driving behaviour, and ultimately reduce the cost of road trauma in the state.