Eighteen years after a 19-year-old University of Otago student was killed while riding in a wheelie bin down a Dunedin street, police were exasperated to find young people were at it again on Saturday.

A police spokeswoman said officers were called to Union St, between Queen and George Sts, about 2pm, following reports of youths riding down the hill on top of wheelie bins, and a "near-miss" with an oncoming car.

In March 2001, physical education student Ana Louise North died instantly when she and a friend smashed into a parked trailer while riding in a wheelie bin down Baldwin St.

An impromptu wheelie bin race in Dunedin on Saturday afternoon lasted only a few hair-raising runs. Police were quickly on the scene. Photo / ODT
An impromptu wheelie bin race in Dunedin on Saturday afternoon lasted only a few hair-raising runs. Police were quickly on the scene. Photo / ODT

The ride left her male friend in Dunedin Hospital with serious head injuries.

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The spokeswoman said it was believed the people in Saturday's Union St incident were from a large party in the area.

"So we attended and tried to speak to a group of males, and they scattered in all directions."

No-one was injured, but given the 2001 incident, police were not impressed, she said.

"Police would discourage any kind of behaviour like this that causes risk, not only to the people doing it, but others around them."