New ads to target hoons
Tuesday 14 May 2013
Online and radio advertisements warning hoons of the consequences of high risk driving behaviour will be airing from tomorrow, with the first of the “hoon school” courses expected to be undertaken in coming months.
Minister for Roads Terry Mulder said the awareness campaign, beginning Tuesday 14 May, was targeted to online sites and radio, frequented primarily by men under 40, which is shown by VicRoads research to be the target audience for hoon offences.
Mr Mulder said the ads warn drivers and riders that they will be swapping their car seat for a seat at one of the venues where the six providers are conducting the VicRoads Safe Driving Courses.
“These courses cost up to $1100 and the hoons themselves will be paying to attend,” he said.
“That’s on top of the other penalties which now apply, including higher fines and impoundment fees, bringing the financial outlay to around $5000.”
“That is a significant amount and on top of losing your car or bike, it’s really hitting these hoons where it hurts the most.”
“We know that hoons won’t respond to traditional advertising, so VicRoads has targeted the websites and video clips which they are most likely to view to warn them that they will be required to attend a safe driving course.”
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner for Road Policing Robert Hill said more than 21,000 vehicles had now been impounded since the hoon laws came into effect in July 2006.
“We’ve seized a wide range of vehicles from brand new BMWs and Mercedes, to older Commodores and motorcycles and just about every make and model in between,” Assistant Commissioner Hill said.
“We know that impounding vehicles deprives a hoon of the thing they most need to continue their high risk behaviour - their vehicle,” he said.
“In 2012, there was an increase on the number of vehicles impounded; 4,378, up from 3,856 in 2011.”
“We are pleased that there will be an additional punishment available to these hoon drivers, at the discretion of the courts, to attend a VicRoads Safe Driving Course at their own expense.”
“Our data shows that hoon driving is not just a problem in metropolitan Melbourne, there are many regional centres which have similar issues.
“Our state and local highway patrols conduct large scale operations across the state to target these drivers and riders who continue to endanger themselves and other road users.
“We know the community is sick and tired of hoon drivers and we urge them to dob in hoon behaviour to the Crime Stoppers Hoon Hotline on 1800 333 000 so we can follow it up.”