Editorial: Getting tough with racers

By Dylan Thorne

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Hamilton boy racers were greeted with a "welcoming committee" made up of Tauranga police on the Kaimais.
Hamilton boy racers were greeted with a "welcoming committee" made up of Tauranga police on the Kaimais.

Whether or not a decision to crush a car belonging to a Tauranga boy racer will deter others of his ilk from risky behaviour on our roads is up for debate.

Last week Braedyn Clothier, 20, received his third conviction for operating a vehicle causing sustained loss of traction, leading Judge Thomas Ingram to agree to a police request to order the destruction of the 1995 BMW, despite claims it had already been sold.

It is the first time the law has been applied in the Western Bay since it came into effect four years ago.

The case was complicated by the fact Clothier claimed to have sold the car despite being issued with a notice forbidding him to sell or dispose of it.

Police, obviously keen not to let the opportunity to send a message slip away, later found and impounded the car.

It is now up to the court to give the final okay and arrange its destruction.

It says much about the relevance of the law that it came into force as long ago as December 2009 and yet - until last week - it had not been enacted in the Bay.

Perhaps this is because it is akin to baiting a sector of society that already has a propensity to thumb its nose at authority.

In my view, a more effective way of ensuring boy racers adhere to the rules was displayed at the weekend, when Hamilton boy racers were greeted with a "welcoming committee" made up of Tauranga police on the Kaimais.

Police ticketed six or seven of the group for reasons like overtaking, speeding and other infringements.

No doubt this group got the message loud and clear: obey the rules.

The steady application of pressure will send a stronger message to boy racers than the overtly graphic deterrent of a car crushing.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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