P-plate driver Josh Hembrow, of Lismore, does not believe cars should be made to reach the speeds they are capable of.
P-plate driver Josh Hembrow, of Lismore, does not believe cars should be made to reach the speeds they are capable of. Jacklyn Wagner

NSW Police pursue tough new P-plate laws

IN A bold bid to make speeding P-plate drivers think twice about irresponsible driving behaviours, NSW Police want the power to confiscate the cars of those caught driving 20km/h or more over the speed limit.

The move has the backing of Goonellabah parent Rob Wells, who lost a son in a road smash, and Lismore MP Thomas George, who said he was frequently overtaken by speeding P-platers.

Under the plan by the head of the Police Traffic Command, Chief Superintendent John Hartley, the cars would be seized for 12 weeks.

Chief Supt Hartley confirmed he has put the idea to the Roads and Traffic Authority.

He wants the new law because of frustration two years after bringing in other tough measures on P-plater. Although they included a curfew, Chief Supt Hartley said they had not deterred road carnage involving inexperienced young drivers.

In NSW, police already have the power to confiscate cars for street racing and burn-out offences.
Mr George said he continually received complaints from constituents about P-platers overtaking other drivers at speed.

“I experience this myself on Northern Rivers roads. It is not about cracking down or having a vendetta on  young drivers, it is about saving lives,” he said.

Mr Wells, a member of the Young Drivers Advisory Panel, said it was a good move.

“I’m behind it, but it is just one of many measures that need to be implemented,” he said.

“We are not trying to spoil their fun, we want to keep them alive.”

 However, Lismore P-plater Josh Hembrow, 24, said it was not the answer and would cause some young rural drivers on the Northern Rivers to lose their jobs.

A self-employed forest contractor, Mr Hembrow said if it cost people their jobs it would bring further financial hardship in rural regions where a car was essential.

“Impounding is excessive,” he said.

 “People speed because they can.

“With technology cars should be speedlimited. We don’t need to go any faster than 120km/h,” he said.
 


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