ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Hooning offenders and offences: Who and what are we dealing with?

Leal, Nerida, Watson, B, King, Mark J.



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.