Law sees boy racers leaving Tauranga

By VICKI WATERHOUSE, KELLY MAKIHA

TAURANGA'S new boy racer bylaw has pushed the problem elsewhere - with up to 200 cars, many from the Western Bay, converging on Rotorua at the weekend.
The development comes after Tauranga's tough new bylaw banning boy racers from industrial streets came into force on October 19 and appears to have pushed them to Rotorua, forcing police there to try and stop the problem.
Senior Sergeant Ed Van Den Broek of the Rotorua police said between 150 and 200 boy racers were in Rotorua on Friday and Saturday nights - many of them from the Western Bay of Plenty.
The groups of boy racers are converging on carparks, including at Bunnings and Countdown, before heading to the industrial areas as well as out-of-town spots for burnouts and drag racing.
Police have told the Rotorua Daily Post newspaper that Bunnings has asked police to issue trespass notices to boy racers found at their carpark. won't comment on this ... and have asked they don't be named ... told them we can't do this as it's come from police
Mr Van Den Broek said two people were charged with sustained loss of traction and had their cars impounded and another was charged with drink driving.
Police were acting quickly to stamp out the trend and would hold stings in the coming weeks alongside fines collectors and vehicle inspectors, he said.
"We will try and make their stay in Rotorua as unpleasant as possible and try and drive them out of town."
Tauranga's new bylaw bans vehicles under 3500kg from entering more than 60 industrial streets around the city between 9pm and 5am.
The penalty for breaching the city council bylaw is a $500 fine. Exemptions are allowed for owners and occupiers of industrial properties and emergency, trade, security and council vehicles.
Mr Van Den Broek said Rotorua had not previously had a major problem with boy racers but police would talk to the Rotorua District Council about introducing a similar bylaw if the latest craze got out of hand.
Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby said councillors were always aware a number of boy racers causing trouble here were not from Tauranga.

"They came from Rotorua, Waikato, Tokoroa, Putaruru - many of them have probably just gone home," he said.
There had been an overwhelming response from the public since the new bylaw was introduced.
"We've noticed a major reduction in burnouts and drag racing in our industrial areas. That actually happened before we introduced the bylaw ... just the fact that we were talking about it and also the fatality we had a few months back in the area."
Local police, who could not be contacted this morning, have told Mr Crosby the bylaw was working exceptionally well and they had noticed a significant reduction in groups congregating and drag racing in industrial areas.
One affected business owner, Linda Handley who owns Matamata Motor Trimmers on Mirrielees Rd, was also full of praise.
"It's been terrific, we don't have a lot of problems down here now.
Her advice to Rotorua District Council was to take the same stance as Tauranga.
One car enthusiast spoken to by the Daily Post said Rotorua's popularity was great news for his friends. The man, who didn't want to be named, said police in the Western Bay were "more on to it" with catching boy racers.
But Mr Van Den Broek said not only do deaths and crashes increase as a result of boy racers but so do thefts, as young car enthusiasts get "light fingered" when they see items in and on other cars they wanted.
"Even Greg Murphy the racing car driver is calling them [boy racers] idiots. If he says it's dumb for these guys to be driving fast, then I think he knows more than a 16-year-old snotty kid who has only had their licence for five minutes."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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