Canterbury Police were disappointed with the behaviour of anti-social road users ('boy racers') over the weekend who took part in the annual '4 n Rotary South Island Champs', which saw large numbers of vehicles gathering to commit traffic offences in both residential and industrial areas.
"The behaviour is absolutely unacceptable. Fortunately we had extra staff rostered on to deal with the anticipated disorder and offending," says Inspector Al Stewart, Canterbury Road Policing Manager.
"Fifteen vehicles were impounded for a variety of offences, including sustained loss of traction (burnouts), and eight people were arrested at one location where a large number of Police took two hours to deal with a crowd of approximately 1000," says Inspector Stewart.
Police are following up a number of complaints from the weekend which will lead to more vehicle seizures and court appearances for drivers. "We encourage anyone that is having a problem with this activity to ring us and make a complaint. If you have the vehicle registration number and details of the offending, it is very likely that we can impound the vehicle and take away their means of offending," says Inspector Stewart.
Police were concerned about the numbers of vehicles in an unsafe condition, with 123 being ordered off the road over the weekend.
"Some of these drivers just aren't getting the message, even after we have seen some serious crashes over the past couple of years due to uncertified and unsafe modifications on their vehicles," says Inspector Stewart. "They are putting themselves, their passengers and other road users at risk.
Just last week Canterbury Police dealt with a fatal crash on State Highway 75, Tai Tapu where a vehicle that had been ordered off the road twelve days earlier due to defects left the road, killing the driver and seriously injuring three passengers.
There was increased activity on the four avenues, in breach of the council by-law banning cruising. "After we sent staff into the area to identify offending vehicles, these drivers left the area and any further offending was prevented," says Inspector Stewart.
Canterbury Police will continue to focus on these drivers until there is a significant decrease in their activity.
There were also too many young drivers breaching the conditions of their learner and restricted licences, after 64 drivers were dealt with for drivers licence breaches.
"Young drivers who breach the conditions of their licence are liable to a $100 fine and 35 demerit points and need to realise that they only need to get caught three times to lose their licence," says Inspector Stewart.