Police hope new laws will minimise hooning in city
NEW "two-strikes" hooning laws will work best in deterring drivers with hotted up cars, according to Gladstone police.
The first reforms to Queensland's hooning laws in 11 years will come into effect in October and give Gladstone's serial hoons two chances before their cars are crushed.
The changes will see drivers have their cars impounded for 90 days for their first offence and their cars confiscated, sold or crushed for a second offence.
Under changes to the Police Powers and Responsibilities (Motor Vehicle Impoundment) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012, drivers who openly participate in race or street trials will be targeted.
Gladstone police acting officer in charge Darryl Richter said the new laws would work best in deterring those with modified cars.
"It may work on drivers who put a lot of work into their cars," officer Richter said.
"But we also have people who don't really care about their cars and will continue to offend."
Drivers who start a vehicle that makes unnecessary noise or smoke will be nabbed under the new laws.
In the past 12 months, 28 hooning offences were recorded in the Gladstone district, with 23 vehicles impounded.
On Tuesday, Police Minister Jack Dempsey described the new laws as the toughest in Australia.
Under previous anti-hoon laws, police could impound a vehicle for 48 hours after a first repeat offence, up to three months for a second repeat offence, or permanently for a third repeat offence.
Driver trainer hopes laws will make people think twice about risky behaviour
GLADSTONE driver trainer Candita Hamblin has seen it all when it comes to bad driving.
"I would see hooning in Gladstone on a daily basis," the Training Wheels Driver Training instructor said.
"Just the other day I was picking the kids up from school and we had someone trying to overtake us in the carpark.
Candita said she hoped the new hooning laws would make people think twice about risky behaviour on the roads.
"When you're teaching someone how to drive, you can see traits they've picked up from whoever they have been driving with," she said.
Of the worst bad habits, Candita identified speeding as one of the most common among younger drivers.
"You can tell if someone is going to drive how they want when they get their licence," she said.
"It's my job to put those safe driving principles in place.
"Once younger drivers are comfortable on the road, they build up a confidence that leads them to speed.
"When I'm in the car with them I can tell without looking at the speedo how fast we are going."
Candita said drivers who had spent money modifying their cars would more likely than others to be deterred by the new anti-hooning laws.
"If they lose their $20,000 Commodore for a while, the message might sink in," she said.
Residents encourage to dob in a hoon and help police
DRIVERS who witness reckless behaviour on Gladstone roads have been encouraged to "dob in a hoon".
Gladstone Traffic Branch acting officer in charge Darryl Richter said tips from the public led to further investigations into hooning cases.
Residents could provide anonymous information about hooning in their neighbourhood via the 13HOON hotline or on an online form.
The 13HOON hotline has been operating since 2010 to further police investigations into hooning hotspots.
To submit information online, visit police.qld.gov.au.