VIENNA: Police in Austria will now confiscate the cars of people driving well over the legal limit in order to discourage those who flout the country's speed laws for fun.
Austria is following the example of Switzerland and Italy where similar laws allow police take away the cars of those caught going way over the limit.
In extreme cases, when cars that have been grabbed more than once or drivers drastically exceed the limit, the vehicles can be sold off, with the state keeping the proceeds, Austrian transport minister Leonore Gewessler announced in December.
The measures apply to those who exceed the general 50kph-speed limit on ordinary roads in built-up areas and the 80kph limit on rural roads. The highway limit is 130kph.
In neighbouring Germany, where large sections of the highway network are completely without a speed limit, police have no regular powers to impound cars which have been clocked at illegal speeds.
The cars can only be seized if they have been caught taking part in illegal street races.