July 7th, 2009 at 01:29pm
I feel vindicated. It’s so nice to know that a police force somewhere, even if it is on the other side of the country, agrees with me that you can’t just declare all unauthorised drivers to be incredibly dangerous, and expect your citizens to swallow your hype.
I wrote a lengthy editorial about this subject last year, in which I spelt out the differences between the risk profiles of the various types of unauthorised drivers, after the Australian Federal Police (who police the Australian Capital Territory) went on a bizarre crusade…I couldn’t stand by and let them lump all unauthorised drivers in to the same category of “extremely dangerous”.
From the article in the first link:
A record number of cars have been impounded since new laws came into effect yesterday.
Under the laws, police have the authority to impound any car for 28 days if the driver does not have a valid licence.
So far, about 70 cars have been confiscated, including several company cars.
So, that’s the “crackdown” in a nutshell, but how does this prove that the Western Australian Police force agrees with my categories…?
Inspector Royal says not all unlicensed drivers face having their car confiscated.
“Unlicensed driver’s licence impounding will not affect people whose licence has expired,” he said.
“If you’ve never held a driver’s licence you won’t get your car impounded. If you’re driving contrary to driver’s licence conditions you won’t get your car impounded. If you are under fine suspension you won’t get you car impounded.
Proof that my point last year about administrative suspensions not making drivers inherently dangerous was not just a 3am rant. The WA Police have agreed with my point, and I’m pleased to see it.
I’m not condoning driving when one is not legally allowed to do so, but it’s great to see that at least one Police force has seen the light, and noticed that focussing the harsher penalties on the people who have proven themselves to be dangerous is a smart use of Police resources, and a better way to manage the roads.