SES volunteers last week demonstrated how seized hoon cars will assist in Jaws of Life training for road accident rescues.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells and Member for Evelyn Christine Fyffe attended the exercise in Lilydale, which saw two abandoned hoon cars seized by Victoria Police ripped apart by Lilydale SES Unit volunteers as they practiced car crash rescues.
“Last year, the Victorian Coalition Government was pleased to announce its support for a Victoria Police initiative that will see forfeited or abandoned hoon cars provided to CFA and SES for Jaws of Life training,” Mr Wells said.
“The Coalition Government has made a commitment to creating a safer road system, and we see the removal of these hoon cars from our roads for practical training of our SES and CFA members as a fantastic initiative.
“For the first time, SES volunteers and CFA members will have access to an ongoing supply of cars that can be used to simulate the rescue of a person trapped in a car.
“Previously these agencies had to rely on donations from wreckers or the local community and, while gratefully received, these vehicles were often not representative of the more modern types of vehicles that are encountered by road rescue crews.
“This partnership is a practical way to assist the SES and CFA and provides the necessary resources to better train their volunteers, which will increase their confidence and capability in dealing with real life road rescue situations.”
Hoons who refuse to pay their fines and impoundment costs at the expiry of the impoundment period will have their vehicle deemed abandoned and it will become the property of Victoria Police.
The Road Safety Act 1986 gives the Chief Commissioner of Police the authority to sell or otherwise dispose of a motor vehicle that is subject to a forfeiture order.
Mr Wells said the government’s tough anti-hoon legislation had been an effective sanction and resulted in Victoria Police impounding 4600 vehicles last year.
“The anti-hoon legislation sends a strong message to drivers that anti-social and illegal driving behaviour will not be tolerated,” Mr Wells said.
“These efforts also contributed to driving down the State’s 2013 road toll to the lowest in almost 90 years,” Mr Wells said.
Member for Evelyn Christine Fyffe welcomed the initiative, which will benefit the local Lilydale SES Unit which attends up to 800 call-outs per year.
“This is another great example of the Coalition Government, Victoria Police and emergency services, road safety partners and the local community working together to create safer roads,” Ms Fyffe said.
“The Coalition Government will continue to support police to target those drivers who engage in antisocial and illegal driving behaviour to reduce Victoria’s road toll even further,” Mr Wells said.