The Canterbury Police are regularly and consistently confiscating cars driven by those categorised as ‘high-risk drivers.’
Sergeant Scott Richardson, Acting Officer in Charge of Specialist Groups of Canterbury Road Policing said that the Police were effectively using the legislation to get such people off the wheels.
He quoted Section 98A of the Land Transport Act saying that it allowed the police to serve a notice on a defendant charged with a second serious traffic offence within four years of the first such offence.
“The notice vastly increases the odds that a judge will order the defendant’s car to be confiscated. The legislation closes a loophole that meant drivers on remand had time to sell their vehicles before they were convicted,” he said.
According to him, previously, about 92% of cars that could have been confiscated were sold before conviction. But under the current law, the police are able to obtain 90% of the vehicles sought.
He said the proceeds from the sale of cars are used to meet outstanding fines, reparation, storage and other costs.
“The main point is to remove high-risk drivers from their cars. Getting the cars confiscated also means reparation goes to victims or the Court rather than being used by offenders to buy their next car,” Sergeant Richardson said.
He said there was scope for many more notices to be served in other districts.
“There is a common misconception that drink-driving is the only qualifying offence but there is a raft of offences that mean the car can be confiscated.”
These include driving while disqualified, dangerous driving, driving with unnecessary speed or acceleration and driving with sustained loss of traction.