Police Minister Judith Collins has released figures to show crushing boy racers' cars has worked. At the same time, she is talking up the possibility of a similar law for drivers fleeing police.

Police pursuits are in the spotlight again after a man, woman and 5-month-old baby were injured last Thursday, the third crash involving a police pursuit in recent weeks.

This morning, Ms Collins released figures that she said showed the effectiveness of a law change introduced in 2009, which gave her the nickname "Crusher" and allows so-called "boy racer" vehicles to be seized and destroyed.

It follows her recent comments that the success of the car-crushing law could show the worth of extending it to include drivers fleeing police.

Judith Collins. Photo / Doug Sherring
Judith Collins. Photo / Doug Sherring

The figures released today outline the number of deaths, injuries and crashes where police recorded "racing" as a factor contributing to the crash.

In 2001, seven people died, 77 were injured, and there were 70 crashes injury and non-injury crashes. In 2014, there were no deaths, but 23 people were injured in 33 crashes.

"When I passed this legislation in 2009, I said that confiscating and destroying the vehicles of the worst, repeat offenders would be the ultimate deterrent.

"Critics of this law have completely missed the point. The number of deaths, injuries and crashes due to illegal street-racing have plummeted."

Last week the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) appeared before a Parliamentary committee and said it wanted police to review the rules and guidance around pursuits.

However, Ms Collins has rejected that call, saying police did the best job they could and the focus needed to be on the criminals who did not stop, and subsequently put lives at risk.

On Friday, she told the Paul Henry show she would work with officials to see if penalties for fleeing drivers should be increased, and cited the 2009 car crushing law for boy racers.

"If you look, for instance, at the illegal street racers, some quite interesting legislation that I put through last time I was police minister around car crushing, that has actually worked and we've had huge drops."


This morning, she said she had met police bosses, who were looking a options regarding fleeing drivers.

"I've told them to think outside the square, do stuff that is not necessarily politically correct or incorrect, just look at everything and come back with a suite of options so we can look at them.

"Not on their own policy, but what we should be doing in terms of trying to prevent these people fleeing police in the first place. Nothing is off the table."

Year/Deaths/Injured/Crashes (injury and non-injury):















(Source: Office of Judith Collins)