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Bill To Crack Down On Hoons Ready To Go

19 August 2001

Labour Member of Parliament for Waimakariri, Clayton Cosgrove said today that he has finalised the wording of his Private Members Bill to crack down on burn out hoons and illegal drag racing on our roads.

The Bill which is titled the Land Transport (Street and Illegal Drag Racing) Amendment Bill and was inspired by successful New South Wales legislation to combat the problem of illegal street and drag racing and the practice of performing wheel spins (burn outs) and other dangerous stunts on public roads.

The Bill will amend the Land Transport Act 1998 and will empower Police to impound a first offenders vehicle at the road side for 28 days. On conviction the Court may impose a fine of up to a maximum of $4,500 together with disqualifying the drivers licence for 6 months or more. For a second or subsequent offence the Bill will empower the Police to again impound the offenders car at the road side and on conviction the Court may confiscate and sell the offenders motor vehicle together with disqualifying the drivers licence for one year or more and imposing a fine of up to a maximum of $6,000.

“This type of legislation has been extremely successful in New South Wales in combating street hoons and from the feedback that I have had from communities around New Zealand, people have had a gutsful of hoons and they want Police empowered to crack down on them.”
“Since announcing my intention some weeks ago to introduce this Bill, I have spent a lot of time consulting with various interest groups including Police, the Automobile Association, legitimate drag racing clubs, local body officials and communities around New Zealand. All these groups agree that the behaviour of hoons is both unsafe and stupid and it must stop. I have been out with Police to observe the illegal burn outs and street racers, and have spoken with local business people who have been on the receiving end of assaults and who’s properties have been extensively damaged as a direct result of the behaviour of hoons. In my view enough is enough and it is time that we gave the Police the power to act,” Mr Cosgrove said.

“One local authority, the Christchurch City Council, has put in place by-laws which prohibit entry by certain vehicles to a number of streets during evening hours in an attempt to seal off parts of Christchurch which are favoured for burn outs and illegal street racing. I applaud the Councils attempt to deal with this issue, however I believe some overarching legislation covering the entire country is required other wise these hoons will simply move their illegal activities to another part of town or another local body jurisdiction.”

“I am not against fun, but pouring diesel on public roads and burning it up is not fun, it is unsafe, destructive and irresponsible. If people want to conduct this sort of activity then I encourage them to join their local legitimate drag racing club where the activity is regulated and can be conducted in a safe environment and where their vehicles are covered by insurance.”

Mr Cosgrove’s Bill has been endorsed by New Zealand’s top Traffic Officer, Steve Fitzgerald and it has won approval from the Labour Party’s Transport Caucus Committee.

“I will be submitting the Bill for final approval at Labour’s next Caucus meeting before it is placed in the Parliamentary process,” Mr Cosgrove said.

ENDS

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