Police are backing the Transport Minister's call to get tougher against hoon drivers, but also want the discretionary power to immediately seize vehicles and suspend the licences of anyone exceeding the limit by 45km/h.
With the ACT government soon to implement new laws to decriminalise all illicit drugs, they also want the power to immediately suspend the licence of any driver found positive from a drug-detecting blood test.
In a raft of recommendations to the ACT Assembly's upcoming inquiry into dangerous driving, the Australian Federal Police Association is also urging greater investment in driver education programs which deal specifically with convicted drivers and their issues related to drink driving, and driving under the influence of drugs.
Legislation in NSW gives police the right to seize the vehicles of high-range speeding drivers, and immediately suspend licences.
ACT Transport Minister Chris Steel came out last month in support of tougher measures against hooning and street racing, including the potential to crush or sell offenders' cars. Police already have the power to seize cars under existing burnout legislation.
It also used the opportunity in its submission to offer its views on how the proposed Bill to decriminalise illicit drugs would affect driver behaviour, stating that the proposed legislation, without the proper safeguards in place, would "make roads in the ACT more dangerous".
"Under the current testing regime, ACT Policing cannot roadside test drivers who may be driving under the influence of illicit substances described in the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Amendment Bill," the association said in its submission.
"ACT Policing can only test for MDMA, cannabis and methamphetamine (ice)."
In the US and Europe, while expensive roadside antibody tests exist for for cocaine, researchers say the tests can produce false results in about 5 per cent of cases.
Research into robust roadside testing for other drugs such as hallucinogens is still in its infancy.
The association says that there has been little consideration given by the ACT government as to how to manage to the impact of drug-affected drivers on the safety of other road users once the bill is passed.
"At present, and with the introduction of the [legislation], ACT Policing does not and will not have the authority to remove people driving on ACT roads if they suspect the person to be driving under the influence of heroin or cocaine," the submission stated.
"Police will and do have the power to take the person into custody for a blood test but cannot stop the person from driving once released from custody."
Without immediate licence suspension in place until blood tests verify the results of a drug test, police say they have no powers to prevent a driver returning to the road immediately.
There are also highly restrictive time limits in place for blood sampling of suspected substance-affected drivers.
For a sample to be valid, a doctor or a nurse must take the blood sample within two hours of the person arriving in the hospital, or six hours if the person is taken to the hospital by ambulance in the presence of a police officer.
If a person fails to provide a blood test, then their driver's licence should be immediately suspended by the court, police say.
The association has recommended more funding directed into road safety education in schools, and for drug or drink-drivers offenders to be ordered into programs like that provided by Karralika.
We've made it a whole lot easier for you to have your say. Our new comment platform requires only one log-in to access articles and to join the discussion on The Canberra Times website. Find out how to register so you can enjoy civil, friendly and engaging discussions. See our moderation policy here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.