Nelson Bays Police have seized 12 cars this week in an operation aimed at cracking down on dangerous driving.
Police have been covertly gathering intelligence and filming offending by the Nelson boy racer fraternity over the last month in Operation West.
This first round of vehicle seizures is the culmination of many weeks of covert work and planning which resulted in 10 vehicles being impounded by Wednesday and a further two overnight. Police have also laid 15 sustained loss of traction charges along with two charges of reckless driving and one for dangerous driving.
Other instant infringement charges include:
Failing to stop at compulsory stop sign = 44 Driving in a noisy manner = 17 Parking Infringements = 10 Other offences = 12 (includes Warrant of Fitness offences and breach of licence offences)
One offender was charged with three sustained loss of traction offences for separate incidents, plus an additional charge of reckless driving.
Acting Nelson Bays Area Commander Senior Sergeant Dave Gibson said Police and the community were not prepared to tolerate of the antics of this minority group.
"We are putting them on notice that their behaviour won’t be tolerated. We know that issuing endless fines hasn’t stopped the offending, but without their vehicles they may see the world differently. Only one vehicle has been crushed in New Zealand under the boy racer legislation, but I fully expect that the next one will be in Nelson in the near future if this group doesn’t get the message now."
Senior Sergeant Gibson said Police were employing covert tactics in the operation to avoid the possibility of instigating a pursuit situation.
"We’re not chasing these guys down the road at high speed. We’re watching and gathering our evidence without them knowing. Then we’re turning up at home or work and taking the vehicle. It’s safe and it’s effective and we know these people won’t be offending without a vehicle to drive."
Past efforts to curb unacceptable driving practices within this group have been hampered by their ability to scan police radios, contact each other via cell phones, and the structured deployment of early warning procedures to alert them to police attendance.
Senior Sergeant Gibson said the drivers needed to be aware that Police would impound any vehicle that met the criteria under the law.
"It’s not going to help if you register your car under someone else’s name, or if you’re driving someone else’s vehicle. The vehicle will still be seized.
"These people pose a real risk to themselves and other road users and we want them off the road. People need to understand that a licence to drive is not a right, it is a privilege. We want to change this culture and by doing so believe we can reduce the social and financial cost of loss of life and injury."
Source: NZ Police