Anti-hoon laws net the unexpected

Initial outing of strengthened Queensland law shows commercial-vehicle owners need to be alert

By Rob McKay | November 7, 2013

The first vehicle to fall prey to Queensland’s beefed up anti-hoon regulations appears to be . . . a truck.

The outcome may or may not be an example of the law of unintended consequences, but regardless
ATN understands that a Queensland truck owner has sought to use hardship provisions in the Police Powers and Responsibilities (Motor Vehicle Impoundment) and Other Legislation. Amendment Act 2013 to regain control of the vehicle that had been in the possession of another driver at the time.

While confirmation from Queensland Police was unavailable by deadline today, it is believed that the vehicle had been impounded as the newly unlicensed driver had been caught speeding.

Meanwhile, Colin Biggers & Paisley (CBP) Lawyers has issued a bulletin warning commercial-vehicle owners of the risks they now face from the strengthened provisions, which came into effect on
November 1.

"The new legislation can have far reaching consequences for owners of vehicles who are not necessarily the offending driver," lawyer Simone Farrugia says.

"Under the new legislation, vehicles can be impounded for seven or 90 days, depending on the type of offence committed by the driver that might trigger the impounding or immobilisation of a vehicle."

There are two types of offences, with Type 1 including being involved in street racing, while Type 2 involves unlicensed driving, high range drink driving, exceeding the speed limit by more than 40 km/h, driving a vehicle that is both uninsured and unregistered; and non-compliance with vehicle standards and safety regulations offences.

Farrugia advises businesses that own vehicles to seek the traffic history of its drivers and update their safety management procedures.

The gaining of drivers’ traffic records is a hot topic in the industry at present, with the problem of privacy laws brought up as an impediment for companies seeking to ensure safe driving behaviour.

The full list of advice for commercial vehicle owners can be found here.

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