First car set to be crushed under new law

A youth whose car was set to become the first in the country to be crushed under tough new boy racer legislation has had a short reprieve.

Another car will instead make history in the Hutt Valley tomorrow when it is crushed at scrap metal yard as punishment for its owner breaching the "three strikes" law aimed at stopping boy racer behaviour on the roads.

Milton man Karn Clarrie Forrest, whose car was destined to be crushed first, pulled a switch on police when they seized his 1982 Toyota Corolla DX last year.

The stripped car was seized from Forrest's home last year and taken to a Dunedin scrap metal yard awaiting a final order to be crushed. Police were made aware of the switch and although they got the right car in April, it is understood paperwork is holding up its destruction.

Instead, a Nissan will fall victim to the law enacted under the watch of former police minister Judith Collins, who earned the nickname "crusher" after first proposing the law.

Police Minister Anne Tolley said tomorrow's crushing would send a strong message to boy racers.

"Their behaviour is unacceptable and communities have had enough."

She said the legislation was proving to be a strong deterrent, with street racing offences down 17 per cent between January 1 and October 31 last year.

That reduction followed a 16 per cent drop in the same period in 2010.

The owner of the doomed car had yet to be sentenced but had pleaded guilty to driving related charges, police said today.

The legislation:

* The Land Transport (Enforcement Powers) Amendment Act and the Sentencing (Vehicle Confiscation) Amendment Act came into force in December 2009.

* Referred to as "boy racer legislation".

* Allows police to charge drivers and impound their vehicles for an "unnecessary exhibition of speed"or "sustained loss of traction".

* Vehicles can be seized and destroyed if a driver commits three street-racing offences.

- APNZ

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