From Friday, speeding cars can be impounded

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Speeding drivers, beware; starting Friday, your car could be gone: With the 34th amendment to the Road Traffic Act (StVO), from March 1, 2024, vehicles can be confiscated and subsequently auctioned off if they exceed 80 km/h in urban areas and 90 km/h outside urban areas.
If there is already a relevant previous conviction, for example, due to participation in illegal car races, confiscation and forfeiture are already possible if the speed limit is exceeded by more than 60 km/h in urban areas and 70 km/h outside urban areas, the ÖAMTC reminded.

If the speeding driver is driving a vehicle that does not belong to them, law enforcement agencies will, in the future, have the option of temporarily confiscating vehicles on the spot for a maximum of 14 days. In this case, however, the vehicles may not be declared forfeited and auctioned off. This also applies to leased or rental cars. In such cases, the driver’s license of the speeding driver(s) will be endorsed with a lifelong driving ban for the vehicle.

Doubts about effectiveness and concerns about constitutionalityThe ÖAMTC doubted the effectiveness of the measure and also has legal concerns: “On the one hand, there are no studies that show that harsher penalties are more of a deterrent than lower ones. In addition, such drastic interventions in property should be decided by criminal courts and not by administrative authorities,” explains ÖAMTC lawyer Matthias Wolf. According to Wolf, numerous opinions from law professors also state that the law is seriously flawed and even unconstitutional.
“It would be a shame for road safety if the law were to be overturned at the first relevant application by appealing to the highest courts or the European Court of Human Rights,” says the expert. Instead, the ÖAMTC advocates targeted controls to increase the probability of being caught.

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