ED. TEAM CHATTER
We’re all young and dumb once, and I’m no saint. At one time or another, we’ve all engaged in some silly business on the roads or done some careless stuff, but I don’t recall ever going out of my way to make the roads more dangerous than they already are for genuine road users, or disrespecting those there to enforce the laws we have broken.
There’s a video doing the rounds at the moment following a recent ‘meet’ in Christchurch that shows ‘car enthusiasts’ swinging Os in clapped-out utes with dogboxes on the back in the middle of main streets and attacking responding police cars while laughing and yelling brain-dead rubbish. The irony is that it’s these same people who whinge that police are picking on them “for no reason”, yet still turn around and call the police when their car gets stolen and demand that the government give them a free skidpad as though it’s a birthright.
Let’s get a few things in check here: owning, driving, and modifying cars is a privilege. Having a license is a privilege. Car shows and events are — you guessed it — a privilege. And, to maintain those privileges, it’s pretty simple: follow the damn rules! If you don’t and continue building up a very public, very negative perception of what ‘car enthusiasts’ are, all these things are going to disappear in the blink of an eye. Why would local councils and governing bodies take anyone seriously when the six o’clock news is packed to the brink with stories about young hoons terrorising the local roadways and causing destruction to their cities. It’s not rocket science.
And there’s really no excuse for disrespecting the police simply for doing their job and responding to reports of your illegal actions. Screaming “F**k the police”, damaging police vehicles, and acting like downright animals, all while calling yourself a car enthusiast, is a disgrace to the scene, which many people have worked hard to build up. You’re ruining it for everyone else — we all get tarred with the same brush. But sadly it’s not a new phenomenon, it seems to happen all over the country. The incident where a truck driver was pulled from his cab and bashed in Auckland, and the ‘T-straight’ meets in Hamilton. It’s like the dust has almost settled from one piece of bad exposure for the community and a fresh, even worse, incident has gone down and there’s video plastered all over the internet ready for news outlets to lap up to demonize ‘boy racers’ with — the worst part is that the ones engaging in these actions are the ones filming and uploading it!
I hope we never see the day when our laws cripple the pursuit of modifying cars like they do in Australia. We’re unbelievably lucky to have such a lenient system that ensures we all stay safe while allowing us to build some wild shit. And if these kinds of incidents keep happening, costing the police unnecessary amounts of money, we’re going to lose it all. Don’t for a second think that what we currently have is a right, because it ain’t; it’s a privilege in the purest sense and could easily be taken away from everyone because of the actions of a few.
There’s a time and place for most things. Think about what you’re doing and where you’re doing it before it’s all taken away from us.