This page is on the Ministry website for reference purposes only. It was last updated on 16 August 2010.

The Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act 2009(external link) comes into effect on 01 December 2009. The Act introduces a number of measures for tackling illegal street racing and the antisocial use of vehicles.

Read the Act on the New Zealand Legislation website(external link)

The key legislative points of the Act are:

Empowering road controlling authorities to make bylaws prohibiting “cruising”

  • “Cruising” is the repeated driving of motor vehicles along a section of road in a way that draws attention to the noise or power of the vehicle’s engine or which creates a convoy that impedes traffic flow.

 Empowering Police to attach warning notices to motor vehicles used in breach of road safety bylaws

  • Attach a warning notice to a vehicle, which is valid for 90 days when a qualifying road safety bylaw is breached.
  • Impound the vehicle for 28-days if used by any driver to breach a bylaw within 90 days of the warning notice being attached.

Require a vehicle ordered off the road for excessive exhaust noise to undergo an objective (metered) noise test

  • At present vehicles ordered off the road must pass a standard WOF / COF before going back on the road.
  • Mandatory metered noise testing will reduce the occurrence of exhaust swapping or tampering.
  • If the noise test is failed, the exhaust will need to be repaired/replaced before getting a new Warrant of Fitness.

Rebalance penalties for Graduated Driver Licence System (GDLS) breaches

  • Decrease the infringement fee for all breaches of the conditions of the GDLS from $400 to $100.
  • Increase the demerit points for breaches of the conditions of the GDLS (other than failing to display an L plate) from 25 to 35 points.

Give Police officers powers to deal with GDLS breaches

  • Powers include directing a motor vehicle to be driven to a specified place, forbidding the person to drive, or taking possession of the ignition keys or other keys of the vehicle or to take other necessary steps to immobilise the motor vehicle, or remove it to a place where it does not create a traffic hazard.

Empower Police officers to direct a vehicle to be inspected

  • Applies when the officer suspects the vehicle does not comply with vehicle standards.
  • The specified place of inspection of no more than 5 kilometres away (unless the vehicle fails to stop).

Provide for the issuing of 25 demerit points for registration plate offences

  • Includes displaying unauthorised (false or stolen), deceptive or obscured plates.
  • This provision will apply to all motorists involved in registration plate offences, not just those who are involved in illegal street racing.

Enhance penalties for failing to stop when signalled to do so by a Police Officer

  • Include failing to stop as an aggravating factor which must be taken into account at sentencing for dangerous and/or reckless driving offences.
  • Introduce additional penalties:
    • Mandatory 3-month minimum driver licence disqualification for failing to stop, if a repeat offence or if accompanied by excessive speed or dangerous driving.  This would be in addition to any other disqualification given, and would not run concurrently.
    • A mandatory 12-month licence disqualification and a term of imprisonment not exceeding 3-months for a third or subsequent failure to stop offence.
  • Introduces 28-day vehicle impoundment for 'Failing to Stop'.

Increase the penalty for failure to provide details

  • Double the fine (from $10,000 to $20,000) that may be imposed on the owner or hirer of a vehicle for failure by them to provide to a Police Officer the identity details of a driver or passenger who has used a vehicle to commit an offence.

Mandatory impoundment for illegal street racing offences

  • Mandatory 28 day impoundment of vehicles (unless it is impractical) when used in illegal street racing offences Previously, this was a discretionary power.

Empower the Commissioner of Police to prohibit the sale of a vehicle

  • Sales prohibition notice prohibiting the sale or disposal of motor vehicles (in whole or in part) where a prosecution is initiated that may result in the confiscation of the motor vehicle concerned. This will prevent an offender facing confiscation from transferring the registration of vehicles to friends or family members.
  • The owner of the vehicle will have the right to appeal against the prohibition notice.

Empower the NZ Transport Agency to charge a driver licence reinstatement fee

  • The $65 fee would apply where a driver’s licence was revoked, suspended (other than 28-day suspensions) or disqualified.
  • Amendments to clarify when a driver licence card ceases to have effect.

Read Questions and Answers on the Enforcement Powers Act.

The provisions in the Act are complemented by those in the Sentencing Amendment (Vehicle Confiscation) Act 2009.

Information on the Sentencing Amendment (Vehicle Confiscation) Act 2009 is available on the Police website(external link).