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Police identify roads for boy racer ban

19 December 2007

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker says police have identified a number of roads on the outskirts of Christchurch from which boy racers will be banned from this weekend.

Mr Parker will shortly use the executive powers he has as Mayor to implement a ban on boy racers on streets and roads where police have advised that there is a current or anticipated problem concerning public disorder.

Christchurch Police District Commander, Superintendent Dave Cliff says the roads where police have real concerns about public safety and unruly behaviour are McLean’s Island Road from Pound Road, Chatterton Road, Miners Road, Coutts Island Road and Dickies Road in the McLean’s Island area and Spencerville Road, Lower Styx Road and Kaianga Road in the Spencerville area.

The ban will be implemented through the powers Mr Parker has under the Local Government Act 1974 Schedule 10 Clause 11. This provides that the Council may, subject to such conditions as it sees fit, and after consultation with the Police and the Ministry of Transport, close any road or part of a road to any traffic or specified type of traffic.

Mr Parker today met Superintendent Cliff, and representatives from the Ministry of Transport and Land Transport New Zealand to discuss their joint concerns and possible solutions to the problems boy racers are causing for local residents.

The Council’s legal staff are preparing the documents which could see the ban introduced and Police enforcing it this weekend. Drivers who breach the ban face a maximum penalty of a $5000 fine. Police will use their discretion and will allow residents into the affected area.

Mr Parker says that the measure is only a short-term temporary solution. He and police will continue to liaise over the holiday period and should boy racers move to another part of town, he is prepared to extend the ban to other affected areas.

"In February a proposal will be put to Council that the current bylaw on banning vehicles from roads in the Templeton area will be extended to other areas identified by the Police. The bylaw will replace the temporary ban," Mr Parker says.

Mr Parker also called for Central Government to respond urgently to the boy racer problem . The fine system is obviously not a sufficient deterrent, he says.

"What does hurt these young drivers is demerit points which could result in the loss of their drivers’ licences.

"I am advocating that demerit points are issued for noisy vehicles and those with false or obscured registration plates. Police also need to be able to ticket offenders immediately at venues where there are unruly gatherings without having to first issue a warning. I also believe that drivers’ licenses should be suspended for unpaid fines."

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