Rock throwing a crime if you hit, hurt or not

By: Chris Smith


After a spate of rock attacks on vehicles, including buses, the New South Wales Government has confirmed it will legislate

After a spate of rock attacks on vehicles, including buses, the New South Wales Government has confirmed it will legislate to make the mere act of throwing a rock at a vehicle a crime, regardless of whether you hit it or not.

NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos says the offence will apply to any person who intentionally throws or drops an object on or toward a vehicle or vessel on a road, rail or waterway.

"The act of throwing a rock at a vehicle is not only cowardly and stupid, it is down right dangerous," Hatzistergos says.

"The Iemma Government will not tolerate this kind of idiotic behaviour.

"To deter rock throwers, we will legislate to make it a crime to throw an object at a car, boat or train, even if nobody is harmed."

The new offence will be introduced to the State Parliament in coming weeks and will carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Hatzistergos says a person could be charged with the new offence for throwing any object – not just a rock – that could cause harm.

"The prosecution will not even have to prove that the accused was aware their conduct risked the safety of any person, or that the object made contact," Hatzistergos says.

He says the offence will apply to people who throw rocks at moving or stationary motor vehicles, trains, trams, vessels, bicycles, animals being ridden or vehicles drawn by animals.

Rock throwers already face tough penalties, including:
  • Malicious damage, which carries up to five years in prison;
  • Malicious damage with intent to cause bodily injury, which carries a sentence of seven years in prison;
  • Affray which carries a sentence of 10 years in prison;
  • Malicious damage with intent to endanger life, which carries a penalty of up to 25 years prison.


"Rock throwers who cause serious injury to their victims can already be charged with recklessly inflicting grievous bodily harm," he explains.

He says the Iemma Government recently passed tough new legislation to increase the maximum penalties for those who recklessly inflict grievous bodily harm from seven years imprisonment to 10 years.

The Government has also increased the maximum penalty for those who recklessly inflict grievous bodily harm in the company of others from 10 to 14 years.

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