Boy racers mourn first crushed car
The first car to be crushed under boy racer laws has been given a Facebook memorial.
The car was flattened this morning in Lower Hutt when police minister Anne Tolley used a remote control to trigger the Aljon Impact Five car crushing machine at Macaulay Metals.
The law it was crushed under - the Vehicle Confiscation and Seizure Bill in 2008 - was passed by National last term and earned Cabinet minister Judith Collins the sobriquet "Crusher Collins".
Tolley told Parliament's law and order select committee yesterday the car belonged to a "silly young man" who had been convicted of driving offences four times.
It was understood the driver of the vehicle was Paraparaumu Beach digger operator Daniel Ronald Briant, 19.
Briant created the memorial page after yesterday expressing his fears for the "Laurel".
He posted a cover photo of the car in full burnout mode on Facebook. "Long live the Laurel," responded one friend.
It took 49 seconds and 150 tonnes of pressure to crush the car.
Walking over to the foot-high lump of metal today, Tolley said it was "pretty effective".
"It's pretty graphic sort of consequences. If you're a car lover that's pretty devastating.
"It would be devastating for me if it was my car, but I don't hoon around neighbourhoods doing wheelies."
The Minister then stood defiantly atop the wreckage, posing for media photos.
Constable Jason Andrews said on one occasion Briant was caught doing burnouts in the middle of State Highway 1 near Paraparaumu in front of an off duty police officer.
He was arrested as he tried to change his "shredded tyres" in the Burger King car park nearby.
Tolley said less than three hours after receiving his third strike from the court Briant was back behind the wheel performing a burnout.
He lost control and crashed into a fence. It is understood he and a passenger fled the vehicle on foot.
He was awaiting sentencing on that fourth offence.
He had already been found guilty of driving while suspended, sustained loss of traction and dangerous driving leading to a 21 month disqualification.
Previously Milton teenager Karn Clarrie Forrest, 18, was to be the first to have his car crushed after notching up his third offence of wheel-spinning in December last year.
But the action, in April, was halted when police realised his 1982 Toyota Corolla DX had been switched before it could be taken to a Dunedin scrap metal yard.
There were 116 people on their second strike. "Those who are not clever enough to heed the warning should be aware that their cars could be seized and undergo a radical change in shape," Tolley said.