Austria to auction off extreme speeding drivers

Austria to auction off extreme speeding drivers

The government has said that drivers in Austria guilty of extreme speeding will have their cars seized and auctioned off as it seeks to deter boy racers by threatening to take away their prized possession.

The plan to make Austria's rules more competitive with those in other countries, including Germany and Switzerland, is intended to be changed in the legislation announced by the governing coalition of conservatives and greens.

Local authorities say they are trying to bring illegal street races and other cases of extreme speeding under control. While most drivers don't usually notice any races, they do cause deaths, sometimes involving bystanders.

At the speeds we are talking about here, no one is fully in control of their vehicle. The transport minister, Leonore Gewessler of the Greens, said at a news conference that the car becomes an uncontrollable weapon and a danger to innocent people.

Anyone caught driving 60 kph an hour 37 miles an hour above the 50 kph speed limit in towns, or 70 kph above the 130 kph limit elsewhere, will have their vehicle seized for up to two weeks.

If they are a repeat offender, or they are a first time offender, or they are more than 80 kph above the limit in a city, or more than 90 kph above it elsewhere, their vehicle will be confiscated for good and auctioned off.

The measures introduced last year that increased the length of time drivers lose their licences for cases of speeding or extreme speeding are a result of the move.

He who has no car can't speed any more. Gewessler said that the measures were tough but necessary because it hits where it hurts and protects the general population.