From next year in Austria, winter sports fans will have to be careful about how many kilometers per hour they drive too fast. A new bill gives police officers the option of confiscating not only the driver’s license of offenders, but also their vehicle. Then it is sold by public auction.
This has already happened in Denmark. There, the police can confiscate the vehicle that is being driven too fast. The car is then auctioned off and the proceeds disappear into the Danish treasury. A 42-year-old Dane discovered you don’t have to get behind the wheel yourself when his Porsche was taken away while his friend was behind the wheel.
Austria now wants to introduce similar legislation under which top-speed cars can be confiscated. According to Transport Minister Leonore Goessler (the Greens), a legislative amendment is being introduced for this. Anyone driving at 80 kilometers per hour in the city must surrender their car immediately. Outside the city, this happens when the maximum speed is exceeded by more than 90 kilometers per hour.
Repeat offenders are more likely to lose their vehicle
Repeat offenders are likely to lose their car and driver’s licence. Gewessler declared that they could expect this measure if they exceeded 60 kilometers per hour in the city or 70 kilometers per hour outside the city. Therefore the responsible state administration must check the offender’s previous driving behavior within two weeks. The minister said, “Extreme speed could be fatal for everyone on the street.”
If the speed demon is auctioned, 70 percent of the proceeds must go to the Road Safety Fund, and the rest to the relevant municipality. According to statistics, there are between 400 and 450 speeding offenses in Austria every year where planned regulations can be applied. The legislative initiative is now being discussed over a period of six weeks and will not come into force until the middle of next year at the earliest.
The scheme is already in existence in Switzerland, Denmark and Italy
Similar schemes already exist in Switzerland, Denmark and Italy. In Germany, according to the Adac (Allgemeine Deutsche Automobil-Club), a car may only be confiscated after illegal car races. “The authorities have a certain amount of leeway here in the case of serious and serious speeding offences: racing against yourself is also illegal racing – as a result the car can be seized,” Adac said of the German situation.
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