Boy racers it seems come in many guises.

The conviction of a 40-year-old man in Whanganui last week for doing donuts at a major city intersection reminds us that not everyone loses their inner hoon as they grow older.

Certainly Whanganui is a city donkey deep with motor enthusiasts, be they hot-rodders, vintage car buffs, countless weekend motorcycle warriors or those who prefer to go fast on the river or in the air. We have a well steeped love affair with engines.

Read more: Snapped: 40-year-old man done for doing 'donuts' on busy intersection


But there are many whose attraction is not pursued as part of an organised club.

These are usually younger men, women too, who are equally smitten with loud exhaust pipes and grunty engines but who find their thrills on public roads.

Colloquially referred to as boy racers they drift around wet corners, accelerate like their lives depend upon it and generally behave badly in heavily modified vehicles.

This of course is nothing new. For most young men in particular a show of exuberance when behind the wheel is something of a right of passage – part of being Kiwi.

Unfortunately that has to stop.

Cars are faster, more powerful, the roads are busier and unlike back in the day drivers need discipline not to be distracted by smartphone messages. Throw bravado and alcohol into the mix and we have a problem.

We've had a horror start to 2018 with the road toll already at 13.

Safer roads begin with a good attitude. A cop once said to me that wearing a seatbelt not only protects you in an accident, but shows an overall attitude towards driving.

Perhaps the same can be said of the seemingly innocent practice of laying down tyre marks.

More police enforcement in this area would be welcome.