The threat of seeing beloved cars turned into metal pancakes is curbing boy racer behaviour in Rotorua, a local road police boss says.
However, others in Rotorua are not so sure, saying there are still too many "hoons" on city streets.
Figures released under the Official Information Act show there were 126 illegal street racing convictions in Rotorua between December 2009 and June 2013. Seven were second-strike convictions.
"Boy racer legislation" introduced in 2009 gave courts the power to destroy an offender's car if they ticked up three illegal street racing offences within four years. Offences include racing and excessive speeding, and "sustained loss of traction", which includes "burnouts" and "drifting".
Rotorua road policing manager Senior Sergeant Brendon Keenan said the legislation had made a "massive difference" to boy racer behaviour on Rotorua streets.
"For these guys their vehicles are their pride and joy and they spend a lot of money on them and to have their vehicle impounded ... or crushed ..."
Sustained loss of traction was "very easy to prove" so racers had to tread carefully.
Organised street racing had petered out since the car-crushing threat was introduced, and now it was just isolated incidents local police had to deal with.
Recent fundraiser events attended by hordes of boy racers in town had resulted in "very few" complaints from the public, Mr Keenan said.
"We're not seeing trouble with those organised events."
Rotorua car enthusiast and mechanic Scott Lowe said the legislation was fair on boy racers.
"I agree with the policy, I mean, they get three chances," he said.
Mr Lowe said he believed crushing people's cars after they committed a certain number of offences was the best way to prevent them offending again.
"Increasing fines and taking away more demerit points isn't going to do nothing. This way, boy racers will get the message."
Former Rotorua resident Laura Everest has been involved with motorsport for about six years. She said car racing was an adrenaline rush but she had "no respect" for boy racers who raced on roads other people were on. Those people gave genuine car enthusiasts a bad name and deserved to be punished, she said.
"I agree with the legislation. If you can't learn your lesson and you break the law then you deserve the punishment. It isn't to kill the fun, it's to keep other people safe."
Nationally, Ministry of Justice figures record 5002 street racing convictions, with 10 offenders notching up three or more convictions since the legislation was introduced.
The first car to be flattened under the boy racer legislation was at a Lower Hutt scrap-metal yard in June 2012, after its owner was convicted of his fourth driving offence.
Two more have been crushed since then - the most recent being a 1995 BMW belonging to Tauranga boy racer Braedyn Clothier.
Readers on the Rotorua Daily Post Facebook page had mixed views on whether Rotorua still had a boy racer problem. Some said the problem wasn't as bad as it used to be, with one commenting most of the racers "may have grown into adults by now".
"Three to 4yrs ago they hooning around like nobodies biz, the threat of impoundment or their car crushed, has opened their headlights hehehe," one reader wrote.
However, others said there was still a problem with hoons.
"Our street which in a cul de sac still gets the daily hoon," said one, while others commented "you think people will slow down but noooo, out of all the streets with speed bumps in Rotorua i think my street needs them the most!" as well as "on a regular basis they're doing skids down the road".