Queensland announces Australia’s toughest anti-hoon laws

Queensland announces Australia’s toughest anti-hoon laws


Queensland announces Australia’s toughest anti-hoon laws

The Queensland Government is cracking down on illegal street racing, drifting and burnouts. Now spectators can be fined for watching or encouraging dangerous driving gatherings.

Dangerous drivers in Queensland now face the strictest anti-hoon laws in Australia after state parliament passed new legislation that will allow police to charge anyone who takes part in – or is a spectator of – illegal street racing, drifting and burnout events.

The new laws – which are already in effect after being passed through state parliament late last week – have been introduced after figures showed Queensland had one of the sharpest rises in the road toll nationally last year.

The amended legislation means it is now an offence for anyone to participate in, organise or promote a “group hooning activity” – including spectators who may not even be driving a car.

Such hoon events generally involve groups of drivers and spectators who organise ad hoc gatherings late at night in back streets or industrial areas.

Typically, drivers of modified cars perform burnouts or ‘drifting’ – or participate in illegal street racing and other forms of dangerous driving – while crowds of car enthusiasts watch the stunts from the edge of the road.

In what is believed to be an Australian first, people who spectate at an organised hoon event in Queensland can now be charged by police with an offence.

Drivers and spectators at hoon gatherings in Queensland can now be fined up to $6000, while those caught behind the wheel face additional punishment which includes up to one year in prison, a loss of licence and/or their car scrapped.

Queensland is one of five Australian jurisdictions – with Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory – that can crush a hoon’s car after it has been impounded and forfeited.

Following the implementation of the new laws, Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan said in a media statement: “If you want to tear up our roads, we’ll tear up your car.

“If you want to be a spectator at a hooning event, you will be breaking the law. If you promote a hooning event it will be an offence.

“If you behave in an anti-social manner and put the lives of others and yourself at risk you will be targeted relentlessly by police,” said Mr Ryan. “Life is precious. Too many lives are lost on our roads. Hooning will not be tolerated.”

However, spectators who attend the illegal hoon events expressly for the purpose of reporting it to police, will not be fined.

Queensland Police says bystanders can upload footage and images of illegal hoon activity to its online ‘Police Link’ portal. 

The Queensland Government’s new anti-hoon laws have also made it an offence to possess false number plates while taking part in a hoon event.

Motorists in Queensland can be fined up to $345 if they are caught with number plates which don’t match the registration of the car being driven – even if they are not displayed on the vehicle.

In Queensland, the new laws mean registered owners of cars detected attending hoon must prove they were not driving the vehicle when the offence was committed.

According to the Queensland Government’s Road Safety Strategy, the estimated economic cost of road trauma in 2020 was $6 billion, while 15 per cent of the state’s hospital admissions were attributed to road injuries.

As previously reported, Queensland recorded its highest road toll since 2009 with 299 fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes in 2022 – more than any Australian jurisdiction last year, despite being the country’s the third-most populous state. 

However, the Queensland Government and the Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) have not revealed how many fatalities and crashes were attributed to hoon events.

While the Queensland Government has proposed a road rules test for motorists to renew their driver licences, the state does not require annual vehicle road-worthiness checks – which are only necessary when selling a car to another used-car buyer.

Jordan Mulach

Jordan Mulach is Canberra/Ngunnawal born, currently residing in Brisbane/Turrbal. Joining the Drive team in 2022, Jordan has previously worked for Auto Action, MotorsportM8, The Supercars Collective and TouringCarTimes, WhichCar, Wheels, Motor and Street Machine. Jordan is a self-described iRacing addict and can be found on weekends either behind the wheel of his Octavia RS or swearing at his ZH Fairlane.

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