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Street Racers Must Be Brought Under Control

2 May 2002

Arrogant Street Racers Must Be Brought Under Control

The growing threat posed by hundreds of cars gathering for early morning illegal street racing on urban streets in Manukau is completely unacceptable and must be stopped, Manukau mayor Sir Barry Curtis says.

"I am receiving reports of huge numbers of cars gathering to block off major roads, drag race at high speed, do wheelies and other childish and exhibitionist stunts, and drive dangerously at deafening noise levels.

"These idiots - and it includes female drivers as well as males - act as though the City's streets are a race track for their amusement. I've got news for them. It is not.

"The high speed stunts are dangerous to other drivers, damaging roads and causing other social harm such as ruining the sleep of nearby residents. In many cases the sound of the screaming engines - which appear to have mufflers that amplify noise rather than reduce it - can be heard from over a kilometre away, tormenting residents living nearby. No one should have to live with that.

"It also affects businesses such as motels and hotels whose guests are kept awake and disturbed by the noise. So this problem is affecting our city's reputation and image with visitors."

The racers aren't necessarily Manukau locals as convoys of cars gather from around the Auckland region and travel via the motorway system to their target road for the night.

Sir Barry says, "One letter I have received is from a worker at Auckland airport who says she was trapped this week in a drag race session amongst hundreds of cars on Roscommon Road while en route to work at 3am. She reports that all four lanes were blocked as these outlaws took control. She's never been so terrified in her life.

"Other streets in Manukau are also targeted, such as Redoubt Road and Sandstone Road in Whitford. So not even country roads are immune.

"This defiant behaviour is illegal, stupid and childish and it is only a matter of time before a tragedy occurs when one of these cars gets out of control and crashes with loss of innocent life.

"We must regain control of our roads.

"It's a quality of life issue affecting many people, so the Council is deeply concerned at the extent of the problem. It also impacts on the Council financially as we are faced with paying for repairing the damage done to road surfaces and berms.

"I believe the penalties for speeding and other illegalities should be higher but the ultimate solution is to take the cars away from these idiot drivers. Manukau City Council has indicated to the government that it supports a proposed law change to allow confiscation of vehicles. I will also be working with Counties Manukau police to try to find immediate ways of clamping down on the problem".


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