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Minister says ‘boy racer’ legislation working well

Minister says ‘boy racer’ legislation working well

Early signs indicate the so-called ‘boy racer’ legislation is working well, Police Minister George Hawkins says.

“The police should be congratulated on the excellent work they are doing to combat what had become one of the most serious issues facing a number of communities around the country,” Mr Hawkins said.

Parliament passed the Land Transport (Street and Illegal Drag Racing) Amendment Act on 2 May. The Act includes powers for police to impound vehicles if they believe they are being raced or spun on city streets.

Mr Hawkins said since the Act was passed, several police operations around the country enforcing the Act had resulted in 86 boy racer cars being impounded.

“A crackdown last weekend in notorious hot spots around Auckland saw police issue 133 infringement and 42 traffic notices, recover one stolen car, order 23 defective vehicles off the road, impound 17 cars, and arrest one person for pouring diesel on a road,” Mr Hawkins said.

He had been heartened by the overwhelmingly positive public response to the legislation, with numerous people contacting police, talkback radio and the print media applauding action to combat boy racers’ anti-social behaviour.

“They have thanked police for giving them back their weekends, for allowing them to get a good night’s sleep for the first time in months, and for making their roads and communities safer.

“I have also been heartened by the way police have gone out of their way to work with boy racers and educate them on what the new Act means,” Mr Hawkins said.

Nationally, police and community representatives had met with members of the racer community to tell them about the new laws and also help identify places where they could race legally. A leaflet entitled ‘The “Boy Racer “ Act and what it means to you’ had been widely circulated.

An example of police and community working together was Canterbury where police produced a mock-boy racer vehicle to educate young people of the dangers of illegally modified vehicles.

In the Bay of Plenty, an organised street race recently held at the Bay Park Raceway under local motor sport control was well attended. Similar initiatives were proposed in the South Island.

“Wellington’s Mayoral Forum have also congratulated Wellington Police for their ‘excellent work done on progressing solutions to the boy racer problem’,” Mr Hawkins said.

He rejected suggestions the Act was too broad.

“Overall, I am pleased with the way the Act is being enforced.

“I think Counties-Manukau Inspector David Simpson put it best yesterday when he said ‘these people take over the roads and the aim is to reclaim those roads on behalf of the public’,“ Mr Hawkins said.

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