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Communtity Law Manual | Driving & traffic law | Impounding of vehicles in emergencies and serious accidents

Losing your vehicle: Impounding and confiscation

Impounding of vehicles in emergencies and serious accidents

Land Transport Act 1998, ss 122, 123

The police can seize and impound a vehicle for up to 12 hours in an emergency involving public safety. They can extend this if necessary, up to another 12 hours.

The police can also seize and impound a vehicle for up to seven days if it’s been involved in a serious accident or a hit-and-run offence, or if the driver failed to stop for the police. Impounding the vehicle must be necessary to preserve evidence or to allow the evidence to be examined or to establish the cause of a serious accident. The police can apply to the District Court for an order extending the impounding period for another seven days.

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