Changes to Hoon Driving and Extreme Speed Laws

Apr 6, 2023

Changes to Hoon Driving and Extreme Speed Laws

South Australia has recently introduced new laws relating to ‘Hoon’ driving and ‘Extreme Speed’ offences. These were announced in 2021 and came into effect late last 2022.

Hoon laws

New laws which came into effect 29 August 2022 mean that hoon driving can result in a fine or a licence disqualification or even imprisonment for some offences.  Wheel clamping, impounding or forfeiture of a vehicle, not only the one in which the office was committed, are additional penalties that may apply to a prescribed offence.

Hoon driving, or ‘misuse of a motor vehicle’ laws include-

  • Travelling at very high speed.
  • Operating a motor vehicle so as to produce sustained wheel spin (burnout).
  • Drives a motor vehicle so as to cause engine or tyre noise, or both, that is likely to disturb persons residing or working in the vicinity.
  • Driving a motor vehicle onto an area of park or garden or other road related area so as to break up the ground surface or cause other damage.

Even a person who promotes or organises an event involving the misuse of a motor vehicle, knowing that it will involve the misuse of a motor vehicle, is guilty of an offence.

Dangerous driving, careless driving, failure to have proper control of the vehicle and causing the vehicle to make excessive noise or smoke are also considered hoon driving-related offences if they are committed in circumstances involving the improper use of a motor vehicle.

Impounded vehicles

The new vehicle impound laws that came into effect July 2021 also mean an alleged offender will be required to pay $1,135.00 within 28 days, or up to $1,395.50 within 38 days, to release their impounded vehicle after which the vehicle can be crushed or sold by the Police.

This means the alleged offender could have their car destroyed before even being convicted!

The vehicle impound legislation applies to 23 offences in total including drink and drug driving, driving unregistered or uninsured, without a licence, speeding and leaving the scene of an accident.

Extreme Speed

Additionally, a new law “Criminal Law Consolidation (Driving at Extreme Speed) Amendment Act 2021”, was passed in parliament December 2021 and came into effect August 2022.

‘Extreme Speed’ is defined as someone driving more than 55kph over the speed limit in a zone marked 60km/h or less or 80kph over the limit in zones above 60km/h.

This new law means drivers now face the prospect of an instant loss of licence as well as a jail term of up to three years if caught driving at extreme speed, and that’s just for the first offence.

The disqualification period increases to 5 years for a subsequent office and if the speeding is done in conjunction with a police pursuit, a death or injury, car theft, driving while disqualified or driving while drunk or on drugs the jail time could also increase to 5 years. 

This is complicated legislation but we have a good understanding of it and we are available for a free first interview if you need help.