Knock knock, hoons there?

Knock knock, hoons there? Police to use anti-bikie rules to do random home checks on disqualified drivers

Sam Lock

  • Traffic offenders to be targeted with random home visits in new police strategy
  • Serial traffic offenders and those with terrible driving records are to be targeted  
  • Compared to targeted family violence and outlaw motorcycle gang strategies
  • ‘A number of strategies…might include a knock on the door,’ Ms Burn said
Prolific traffic offenders and those with appalling driving records will be targeted with random home visits in an unconventional police strategy to keep dangerous drivers off the road.

Serial traffic offenders, banned drivers and those with appalling driving records or disqualifications could now appear on a list of targeted traffic offenders.

All NSW officers have been told to increase their ‘interactions’ with such offenders, an email from NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller instructed, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The new strategy is part of Operation Merret, introduced after 393 people were killed on NSW roads last year, the worst road toll in several years. Three people were killed in separate crashes on NSW roads on the first day of 2018.

‘So far this year 81 lives have been lost, compared to 56 at the same time last year. This indicates a dramatic 45 per cent increase,’ a NSW police statement read.

Road safety should be everyone’s responsibility, not just the domain of highway patrol, Mr Fuller said.

Officers who would not normally specialise in the ­enforcement of traffic offences, such as detectives and uniformed officers, may now have the discretion to do so.

New road strategies include the use of covert, unmarked highway patrol cars, extensive random alcohol and drug testing, as well as targeting dangerous offences such as mobile phone use, speeding and dangerous driving.

A re-examination of penalties for using mobile phones may be addressed and home visits could be imposed for particularly bad traffic offenders.

Mr Fuller compared the proposed strategy to the success of other targeted strategies on family violence offenders and outlaw motorcycle gangs.

‘Will they work on the area of traffic enforcement? I don’t know the answer to that,’ Mr Fuller told The Sunday Telegraph.

‘But … you have to continue to drive innovation and look for opportunities to make people safer.’

NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn was in agreement with the new measures to increase road safety by ensuring dangerous drivers were kept off the roads.

‘If you are a high-risk recidivist traffic offender who has a ­licence that is disqualified or suspended, there will be a number of different strategies and for some it might include a knock on the door,’ Ms Burn said.

Operation Merret hopes to curb endemic driving behaviours and is set to wrap up in May.


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