First car crushed under licence laws
Acting Assistant Police Commissioner Michelle Fyfe and Police and Road Safety Minister Rob Johnson with the crushed wreck.

The first car impounded under WA's new tough vehicle confiscation laws to combat unlicensed drivers was crushed today.

WA Police went to court to have the car, a 1989 Mitsubishi Galant hatchback, permanently confiscated after its owner was caught driving without a licence three times in less than a year.

Police and Road Safety Minister Rob Johnson said he hoped the crushing would send a clear message to anyone driving without a licence.

"My message to unlicensed drivers is simple - if you get behind the wheel, you will be caught and you will lose your vehicle," he said. "While most drivers do the right thing and use our roads responsibly, there are some who continue to snub their nose at the law and at the safety of others.

"About 20 per cent of unlicensed drivers are involved in serious crashes in WA, posing a serious threat to themselves and other road users. Unlicensed motorists, along with hoon drivers, put lives at risk and do not deserve to be on our roads."

The legislation came into force on July 1 last year and police have impounded 10,333 vehicles because their drivers were caught without a licence.

Mr Johnson said the car was crushed today because of its low value and that its engine and gearbox was given to Swan TAFE's mechanical studies.

In November last year, a repeat reckless driver's car was the first to be crushed under the State's hoon laws.

Under the unlicensed driver laws, a car can be impounded for 28 days if someone is caught driving without a valid licence.

If a person is caught three times, Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan can apply to a court to have the offender's vehicle permanently confiscated. It is then crushed or sold, with proceeds from the sale going to road safety projects.

The West Australian

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