Put brakes on road rac­ing

Eastern Courier - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CON­STA­BLE PHILLIP TOMS

Po­lice have no­ticed a sig­nif­i­cant rise in the num­ber of boy-racer in­ci­dents be­ing re­ported. Groups of mod­i­fied-ve­hi­cle en­thu­si­asts or boy racers gather in cer­tain ar­eas of East Auck­land in the early hours, blocking pri­vate and busi­ness drive­ways as well as pub­lic roads.

Al­co­hol and drugs are con­sumed, of­ten the be­hav­iour be­comes dis­or­derly, and po­lice are called by wor­ried mem­bers of the pub­lic.

Po­lice carry out ve­hi­cle in­spec­tions and have found nu­mer­ous faults such as mod­i­fied sus­pen­sions and ex­hausts not cer­ti­fied, and stretched tyres. These con­trib­ute to un­safe ve­hi­cles and en­dan­ger all of us us­ing the roads.

The most com­mon of­fences at these gath­er­ings in­clude op­er­at­ing a ve­hi­cle in a race or ex­hi­bi­tion of speed or ac­cel­er­a­tion, when the driver de­lib­er­ately puts their foot to the floor and takes off at high speed. A race is two or more ve­hi­cles rac­ing against each other on a pub­lic road.

Op­er­ated a mo­tor ve­hi­cle caus­ing sus­tained loss of trac­tion: Is when a driver de­lib­er­ately causes their ve­hi­cle to com­plete a burnout, oth­er­wise known as a donut. The front or rear wheels are spin­ning fail­ing to make trac- tion to the road in a sus­tained mo­tion. You can usu­ally hear tyres squeal­ing and smoke com­ing from within the wheel guards, and burned tyre marks are usu­ally left on the road.

Dan­ger­ous speed: Ex­ceed­ing the speed limit by more than 50kph, re­sult­ing in a sus­pen­sion of li­cence for 28 days, ar­rest or court sum­mons.

There seems to be a com­mon myth amongst boy racers that po­lice have to ob­serve them car­ry­ing out the above of­fences to ob­tain a con­vic­tion in court, which is not so.

All that’s re­quired is for a wit­ness to give a de­tailed state­ment re­lat­ing to the time, place and cir­cum­stances of the in­ci­dent. Po­lice will visit the scene and take pho­tos of the street and burnouts, if any.

Most wit­nesses these days pro­vide video footage or pho­tos. Once state­ments and ex­hibits have been ob­tained, po­lice will speak to the driver of the ve­hi­cle, pros­e­cute for the ap­pro­pri­ate of­fence and im­pound the ve­hi­cle for 28 days.

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