Is this your car, son – redux.

There’s a point about Lewis Hamilton’s thrashing of a car getting him into a bit of trouble that Mrs Exile thinks didn’t come across very well in yesterday’s post. As the papers all said his car was impounded but of course it’s really not his car at all. What would a Briton living in Switzerland being doing owning and running a car in Melbourne? The car was of course a loaner, apparently courtesy of a local dealership. So what these tough ‘anti-hoon- laws have achieved here is fuck all apart from confiscating the private property of a wholly innocent third party. Lewis Hamilton is a very wealthy man and will not suffer from even the most OTT fine any court here will be able to impose, and since he won’t have a Victorian licence points are a non-issue as well. It will be an embarrassing incident for him but that’s at least as much thanks to the media as the police, the courts or these ridiculous laws. The only person who’s really being punished is the owner of the car, which being a company is probably not suffering too much but nonetheless has had it’s property confiscated despite having done absolutely nothing wrong with it.

This isn’t the first time this has happened or even the first time I’ve blogged on the subject. Early last month I mentioned the story of a Perth doctor whose Lamborghini was confiscated – I’m going to stop saying ‘impounded’ because it is fucking confiscation – because his mechanic was alleged to have been speeding in it.

Most egregious of all the law allows – possibly even insists, I’m not sure – that at a certain point above the speed limit the cops impound your car for two days… this applies even when a driver gets tugged and it’s not his car…

To quote Vincent Vega,

What’s more chickenshit than fucking with a man’s automobile? I mean, don’t fuck with another man’s vehicle.

Especially when it’s pretty bloody obvious that it wasn’t even him driving it. Fuck knows what they do if it’s a rental, but it’s something visitors could bear in mind if the hire company piss them about. All you’d need to do is give it a good thrashing on your way to the airport at the end of your stay, and when the cops stop you and impound it get a taxi the rest of the way and send Avis a fax from the terminal telling them that their hire car is with the police. And I’m only half joking, because it’s probably going to take more than one obviously wealthy car owner being fucked up by an unjust and retarded law to get something done about it.

This wasn’t what I had in mind but it does demonstrate how unjust this law is. What if it’s not a rich man’s toy like a Lamborghini but a tradesman’s work vehicle, and he can’t work until he gets it back? What if it’s not a dealership loaner but ‘Mum’s taxi’ needed for all sorts of errands that would then have to wait for at least two days? Supporters might argue that the innocent owners of the confiscated vehicles aren’t that innocent since they’ve got a responsibility to make sure that the law is obeyed, but short of sitting in the back seat and nagging how the hell is that even possible? It makes about as much sense as taking a landlord’s house because his tenants were doing something illegal in it or, since we’re talking about driving offences, closing a privately owned toll road because someone was speeding on it.

However you cut it a law allowing summary confiscation of private property is a bit iffy, but allowing the confiscation of property belonging to third parties who aren’t even aware an alleged offence has been committed is simply fucking outrageous. Sooner or later, if it hasn’t happened already, someone’s going to lose real money from lost earnings because the police have confiscated a vehicle driven by someone else. Bear in mind that potentially the driver could go to court and win, but the car can’t be retrospectively un-confiscated. The use of the vehicle for that time has been lost forever along with any income it would have earned its owner. I very much hope that eventually someone sues the police and Justice Department for lost earnings.

It’s a shitty, unreasonable law and it needs to go.

Posted on March 28, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Is this your car, son – redux..

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: