"There's no way in hell I would pull up" : Deterrent and other effects of vehicle impoundment laws for hooning

Leal, Nerida, Watson, Barry, Armstrong, Kerry, & King, Mark (2009) "There's no way in hell I would pull up" : Deterrent and other effects of vehicle impoundment laws for hooning. In Grzebieta, Raphael & McTiernan, David (Eds.) Proceedings of the 2009 Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference and the 2009 Intelligence Speed Adaptation (ISA) Conference, Roads and Traffic Authority of New South Wales, Australia, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, pp. 217-225.

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Traffic law enforcement is based on deterrence principles, whereby drivers control their behaviour in order to avoid an undesirable sanction. For “hooning”-related driving behaviours in Queensland, the driver’s vehicle can be impounded for 48 hours, 3 months, or permanently depending on the number of previous hooning offences. It is assumed that the threat of losing something of value, their vehicle, will discourage drivers from hooning. While official data shows that the rate of repeat offending is low, an in-depth understanding of the deterrent effects of these laws should involve qualitative research with targeted drivers. A sample of 22 drivers who reported engaging in hooning behaviours participated in focus group discussions about the vehicle impoundment laws as applied to hooning offences in Queensland. The findings suggested that deterrence theory alone cannot fully explain hooning behaviour, as participants reported hooning frequently, and intended to continue doing so, despite reporting that it is likely that they will be caught, and perceiving the vehicle impoundment laws to be extremely severe. The punishment avoidance aspect of deterrence theory appears important, as well as factors over and above legal issues, particularly social influences. A concerning finding was drivers’ willingness to flee from police in order to avoid losing their vehicle permanently for a third offence, despite acknowledging risks to their own safety and that of others. This paper discusses the study findings in terms of the implications for future research directions, enforcement practices and policy development for hooning and other traffic offences for which vehicle impoundment is applied.

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ID Code: 29395
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: deterrence, hooning, vehicle impoundment
ISBN: 9781921692260
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Police Administration Procedures and Practice (160205)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Psychology not elsewhere classified (170199)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 Please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 09 Mar 2010 01:20
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:05

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