Austria unveils plans to seize the cars of 'extreme' speeders

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By Euronews  with DPA, Reuters
The speed limit on most rural roads in Austria is 130 kilometres per hour (km/h).
The speed limit on most rural roads in Austria is 130 kilometres per hour (km/h).   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Ronald Zak, File

Austria's government has announced new plans to seize the cars of people who are found guilty of extreme speeding.

Those who exceed the speed limit by at least 60 km/h in urban areas, or by at least 70 km/h in rural areas, could face losing their vehicles for two weeks.

If they are a repeat offender or are caught travelling particularly fast, the seized car could be auctioned off.

Those found guilty of excessive speed will also have their driving licence temporarily revoked, the government said.

The move follows similar measures in neighbouring Switzerland and Italy, which aim to crack down on "boy racers".

"He who has no car anymore cannot speed anymore," Austrian Transport Minister Leonore Gewessler said. "That is precisely why this measure is so successful in other countries, because it hits where it hurts and protects the general population

A driver in Vienna was recently caught travelling at 104 km per hour in a 30km/h zone.

"At the speeds we are talking about here, no one is fully in control of their vehicle," Gewessler told a news conference on Monday.

"The car becomes an uncontrollable weapon and a danger to completely innocent people," she added. "Extreme speed is life-threatening for all other people on the road."

In Germany, citizens' vehicles can only be seized and confiscated after illegal car races.