Boy racers face tighter curbs

LOIS CAIRNS
Last updated 08:43 27/05/2014
Chch boy racers
Fairfax NZ

APPREHENDED: A young man strikes a pose after this car was pulled over by police in Christchurch early on Sunday.

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Boy racers will be driven out of some of their familiar haunts under plans to extend a bylaw restricting night-time access to dozens of Christchurch's industrial and rural roads.

Night-time access is already restricted to about 50 roads in the Greater Christchurch area but as part of a review of its Prohibited Times on Roads bylaw the city council is proposing adding more than 20 streets to the list of no-go areas.

Those streets are mainly around Christchurch Airport and in the industrial areas at Woolston and Bromley.

The bylaw was introduced four years ago to try to prevent boy-racer gatherings - and the antisocial behaviour that often accompanies them - by restricting access to certain streets to legitimate users only between the hours of 10pm and 5am.

The restrictions are actively enforced by police. Vehicles found to be in breach of the restrictions are liable for a $750 fine. Business employees, residents and anyone with a genuine reason for being on the street are exempt from the restrictions.

This is the first time the bylaw has been reviewed.

Canterbury road policing manager Inspector Al Stewart said the bylaw had worked well. Police welcomed the move to extend the number of streets covered by it.

"It is a really effective tool and I think a really good deterrent. Young guys and girls in their cars don't want to pick up a $750 fine for being found in those streets and they tend to move on pretty quickly."

Stewart said boy racers tended to like gathering in out-of-the-way, semi-industrial areas.

The streets the council was considering adding had been chosen, with input from the police, because they were often the scene of boy-racer activity and anti-social behaviour.

Extending the bylaw to cover those streets would give the police another tool to move them on.

COUNCIL ROAD CORRIDOR

Operations manager Paul Burden said while this was the first time the bylaw had been reviewed, it was not the first time the council had added to the streets covered by restrictions.

The council had the ability to add streets at any time but it preferred to add them in clusters because that lessened the chance of the boy racers simply migrating to neighbouring roads.

Burden said the streets that had been selected this time were chosen largely on the basis of complaints lodged by the public. When the council had applied the bylaw to other streets the complaints had stopped almost overnight.

The public have until Friday to have their say on the proposed changes to the bylaw. Submissions can be made through the council's website www.ccc.govt.nz.

Those submissions will be considered before the council makes a final decision, in about six weeks, on whether to proceed with the changes. Once that decision has been made the new restrictions will become into effect immediately.

BOY RACER RESTRICTIONS PROPOSED

New night-time restrictions considered for the following streets:

Woolston: Chapmans Rd (Port Hills Rd to Cumnor Tce); Cumnor Tce (Chapmans Rd to Maunsell St); Kennaway Rd; Mary Muller Dr; Caerphilly Pl; Brightlings Rd; Lock Cres; Dalziel Pl.

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Airport area: Pound Rd (Yaldhurst to McLeans Island Rd); George Bellew Rd; Ron Guthrey Rd (Syd Bradley Rd to George Bellew Rd); Logistics Dr.

Bromley: Ruru Rd (Dyers Rd to Maces Rd); Taurus Rd; Senior Pl; Newton St; Shivas Pl; Tanya St; Wickham St; Francella St.

Other roads: Kettlewell Dr; Blakes Rd; Sir James Wattie Dr.

- The Press

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