Australia: Car Seizure Law Used to Take Bike From Little Girl

The Newspaper
by The Newspaper

Police in Frankston, Australia used automobile seizure laws this weekend to impound a toy motorcycle belonging to a little girl. While under her father’s supervision, Laney Frankland, 5, had been riding in circles around a reserve near the end of a neighborhood cul-de-sac on a 49cc motorbike. Police arrived on the scene late in the afternoon to tell the little girl that she was not supposed to be riding in that location. The officers then summoned a tow truck to take away her bike. The girl ran to her mother. “I thought she had hurt herself,” Tracey Frankland explained in an interview with 3AW Radio. “She came back and she was hysterical. Her face was bright red and tears were pouring down her face. Now she thinks the police are bad.”

Laney Frankland has been riding toy motorbikes since she was two years old. Her parents gave her the new 49cc model just six months ago. Tracey Frankland explained to 3AW that this seized bike was worth $400 but that police would only return it six months from now if an immediate payment of $550 was made.

Police in the state of Victoria have used so-called “hoon” laws to generate more than $3 million in revenue from such payments. These statutes give police the sole discretion to impound any vehicle an officer believes has been used in an anti-social manner. There is no appeal once the car is seized.

“The new legislation allows police to immediately take hoons off our roads, making them safer for everyone,” Victoria Police Superintendent Peter Billing said in a statement after the anti-hoon law took effect in 2006.

Frankston has been at the forefront of seizures, going so far as to set up a toll-free hotline to allow anyone to call in and arrange for police to confiscate a vehicle. State law even allows seizures based on hearsay evidence. Tracey Frankland does not believe that her daughter was turned in by a neighbor as the bike did not cause any disturbance and she has never heard any complaints.

“It’s not noisy at all,” Tracey Frankland said. “People think it’s gorgeous.”

Victorias youngest hoon (3AW Radio (Australia), 8/13/2009)

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  • Stuki Stuki on Aug 14, 2009

    kkt, If you wanted your car, or gold, back, that was what you now had to pay. If you were happy with FDR & Friends having it, I guess not. People had chosen to keep their savings in gold not because they liked the shine of it, but because of its value in exchange. So those $35,000 in gold were claims on $35,000 of whatever goods and services it could be exchanged into. After confiscation, you had claims on $20,000 worth, while FDR & Friends had claims on the remaining $15,000. Perhaps not the exact distribution you had envisioned when deciding whether to put that extra dollar aside for your retirement, rather than blowing it on Jazz Age vices and Gatsbyesque grandeur, but hey! And those previous claims were not limited to claims on "consumer goods", whatever arbitrary scheme the confiscators might have used to classify some goods as such to the exclusion of others, but were claims on the economy as a whole. And while I have no doubt allowing deeply indebted bankers to grab a share of 40% of everyone else's savings, felt infinitely more manageable to those bankers themselves, as well as to those whose political campaigns they were bankrolling; I somehow doubt those that had eschewed speculation, and were now robbed of the opportunity to parlay their superior investment acumen into expanding their share of the total banking and asset markets, felt quite the same way. But then again, why should someone be allowed such an opportunity, merely on account of being enterprising and competent, when there were oh so many incompetents around to choose from; many of whom, on the back of massive debt, had managed to inject themselves so deeply into our benevolent politicians' social and economic spheres? Also, while I'm sure being able to confiscate at will ensured FDR's supply of gold was no longer in danger, I doubt the remaining citizens of the nation felt their supply was all that secure any more. I know I wouldn't. And how does confiscating the savings of those who saved, in order to help pay down the debt of those who speculated with borrowed money and lost, hurt speculators? The same way taxing children not yet born, to bail out speculators at Goldman Sachs does? As for "hoarders", they're more commonly referred to as savers. And since investment comes from savings, and economic growth comes from investment, hurting savers doesn't exactly strike me as the cleverest move out there, at least if ones goal is economic growth and not wealth transfers, favoritism and ideological masturbation. And the rest of the population? Well, what they got was 10 years of depression. Followed by five years of war. Followed again by decades of nonsensical mumbo jumbo about how things would have been "even worse" had people not bowed down, bent over and let themselves and their belongings be violated, all in the name of economic quackery incessantly spewed by an ever growing parasitic caste of leeches acting as little more than boat anchors around the ankles of productive humanity. Not exactly my idea of the right move, but perhaps I'm just a little eccentric.

  • Ghillie Ghillie on Aug 15, 2009
    wsn : August 14th, 2009 at 3:44 pm ghillie : August 14th, 2009 at 2:26 am Licencing and safety laws used to not apply to bikes less than 50cc. Then a lot of these were being brought into Australia and being sold as “toys” - especially marketed at kids. But seeing as safety standards did not apply, many of them were unsafe (brakes, frame strength, fuel safety, etc. etc.). So now anything that is not safe cannot be licenced and cannot be driven off private property. This bike is unable to be licenced - THAT’S WHY IT WAS SO CHEAP - doh! ———————————————- You have a logic flaw here. If licensing and safety laws used to not apply to bikes less than 50cc, then on legal terms, these bikes are not unsafe. The police doesn’t have any legal ground to refuse registration or seize the bike, until they can find a law that states these bikes are unsafe. Better call your local MP and change the law first. The law did get changed - sorry if I didn't make that clear
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