Hooning offenders and offences: Who and what are we dealing with?
Street racing and associated (hooning) behaviours have attracted growing
community concern in Australia, and internationally, over recent years.
Governments have responded by introducing legislation designed to address
the behaviours, and allocating significant police resources to managing the
problem. All Australian states and territories, and New Zealand, have now
implemented ?anti-hooning? countermeasures, typically involving impounding
the vehicles of offenders for increasing periods of time for subsequent offences,
ultimately leading to forfeiture of the vehicle. For example, among other
sanctions imposed, the vehicles of drivers charged with an offence under this
legislation in Queensland are impounded for 48 hours for a first offence, three
months after a second offence within three years, and may be forfeited to the
state after a third offence within three years. Since the introduction of the
legislation in November 2002 and until the end of 2006, 3,221 vehicles have
been impounded for a period of 48 hours. A small number of vehicles have
been impounded for a second (72, 2.2%), third (4, 0.1%) or fourth (1, 0.03%)
hooning offence. Although most hooning offenders are young males, a group
known to be over-represented in crash statistics, hooning offenders have not
been profiled in a systematic way, and the possibility that sub-groups of drivers
exist has not been explored. This paper aims to address these research needs
to inform future research and management of ?anti-hooning? legislation.