Boy racers say reckless few give them a bad name

By Corey Charlton of Hawke's Bay Today -
A car crashed at speed with four on board and hit a power pole while overtaking another car in Hawke's Bay. Photo / APN
A car crashed at speed with four on board and hit a power pole while overtaking another car in Hawke's Bay. Photo / APN

Boy racers say the actions of a man whose sister is in a coma after he crashed are not representative of the wider boy racer fraternity.

Frances Millar, 21, is in a coma at Hawke's Bay Hospital after the car her brother Stuart Millar was driving crashed into a concrete pole on Te Mata Mangateretere Rd about 1.50am on Saturday. Police believe speed was a major factor in the crash, when he lost control of the vehicle on a bend while overtaking another vehicle.

The car was travelling as part of a boy racer "chain" of up to a dozen vehicles.

Police have railed against what has been described as boy racer "chains" or "trains" of up to 50 cars which meet every Friday night in Napier. They travel together, and often race each other on rural roads or in industrial areas.

It is the second boy racing-related accident in the past few weeks. Maree Shafer, 18, died on February 19 when the car she was in crashed on Sandy Rd, Meeanee, during a high-speed race between boy racers.

Wilson Howard, 21, said he had been involved in the Hawkes Bay boy racer community for seven years and was familiar with Mr Millar.

"I catch up with him in the chain all the time," he said.

"The majority of us, we disagree with these crashes and they shouldn't be [driving] anywhere near those sorts of speeds. It should never have happened.

"Everybody knows that you cannot take that piece of road at that type of speed."

He admitted cars in the weekend "chains" would drive together at speeds of 120-130km/h, but said the behaviour of the few who had made headlines recently was "ridiculous".

"For them to go and do something stupid, that reflects on everybody else and I think that is wrong. The majority of us just go out to catch up with mates and go for a nice drive and enjoy our cars.

"We're not all just ***** that the police have made us out to be. It's all stereotypical stuff."

Last night Ms Millar remained in a critical condition.

Sergeant Clint Adamson said the boy racers needed to take responsibility for their actions and they were putting lives at risk - not just their own, but innocent members of the public who may get caught up in their antics.

"How many more people have to die for them to get the message?"

Yesterday's story about the boy racer convoys generated a huge amount of interest on the Hawke's Bay Today website.

Pippen wrote: "I got caught in the middle of one on the way back from Napier. They were driving so slowly it was ridiculous. Very frustrating.

"You see them driving through HN [Havelock North] looking like total idiots. They must think they are pretty cool but everyone just thinks they are a sad joke."

Mr Adamson said police would be laying charges in relation to the crash.

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