Christchurch tops boy-racer offences list

Christchurch is racing away with the title of boy racer capital of New Zealand.

The city has almost twice the number of illegal street racing offences than the next highest centre, figures released under the Official Information Act reveal.

Christchurch recorded 618 street-racing offences from December 1, 2009 to June 30, 2013, with the next highest Manukau (329), followed by North Shore (245), Hamilton (243) and Tauranga (225).

Of South Island centres, Invercargill recorded the second-highest number of offences with 186, followed by Nelson (162), Dunedin (116) and Timaru (109).

Ministry of Justice figures show 4413 street-racing offences with just 10 offenders recording three or more convictions.

A spokesman said when a person had been convicted of a third illegal street offence within four years, the court had the discretion to order the confiscation and/or destruction of a vehicle involved in the offending.

The first under the ''boy-racer legislation'' was flattened at a Lower Hutt scrap-metal yard in June 2012, after its owner was convicted of his fourth driving offence.

Christchurch had the highest number of drivers (3) on three driving-related offences, followed by the North Shore (2).

Christchurch also recorded the highest number of people having two street-racing offences (40) and a single street-racing offence (575).

The only boy racer recorded in Otago and Southland with three offences was in Gore.

In 2011, a Milton man had his 1982 Toyota DX seized by authorities following his third boy-racer conviction.

However, his stripped vehicle remains the subject of a police inquiry following allegations it was switched at the last minute.

Legislation includes the Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act and the Sentencing (Vehicle Confiscation) Amendment Act.

That includes four illegal street-racing offences, including operating a vehicle in a race or exhibition of speed or acceleration, operating a vehicle causing sustained loss of traction, unnecessary exhibition of speed or acceleration causing death or injury, sustained loss of traction causing death or injury.

The spokesman said any proceeds from the confiscation and the sale of the vehicle could go towards the cost of any sale, to pay any amount pursuant to security interests, pay fines/reparations costs, and any surplus paid to the offender.

- hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

 

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