"There will be a death, and it will be someone innocent who dies."

That's the fear of residents living around SH4 at the northern end of Wanganui, who say they are sick of boy racers doing burn-outs along the highway.

One resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said boy racers had been a problem for a while, but last weekend had been the last straw.

He said the problem was particularly bad at the SH4-Whanganui River Rd and SH4-Kaimatira Rd intersections.

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"There are black marks all over the road, they are really tearing the road up. They're the worst I've ever seen. You can see clearly where one of them nearly took out a power pole over the weekend ."

The man said people in the area were concerned someone would be seriously injured or killed because of the boy racers' actions.

"It's a busy state highway. There's traffic up there all hours of the day and night - including a lot of trucks."

He said residents were being disturbed from their sleep by the boy racers, who often came by in the early hours of the morning.

"It is really affecting them."

He was also worried about the impression the black skid marks gave to visitors to the area.

"There are tourist businesses up the Whanganui River Rd and when people see the crap on the road they'll wonder what they will encounter up there.

"It's a bad look for Wanganui."

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The man said he would like cameras installed at these intersections.

"That would stop them in a minute."

Senior sergeant Colin Wright from the road policing group said police were concerned about the behaviour of boy racers in the area.

"The possibility of some form of collision, or burn-outs going wrong and one of the cars involved losing control, is present," Mr Wright said.

Such incidents were difficult to police.

"The reason the burn-outs are carried out where they are is because of the remoteness of the locations.

"When we do respond the offenders are invariably long gone," he said.

"Members of the public have reported the incidents but these recent events were not reported to police at the times they were occurring.

"When they do get reported the information is usually quite sparse because witnesses don't see licence plates so there is an identification issue and quite often witnesses are concerned about exposing themselves for obvious reasons," Mr Wright said.