Take stand against hoons

ON WATCH: Acting Senior Sergeant Ben Young says residents should report hooning. Picture: Kate Healy
ON WATCH: Acting Senior Sergeant Ben Young says residents should report hooning. Picture: Kate Healy

Senior Ballarat police have urged residents to report hoon drivers to stamp out reckless behaviour on the city's roads.

The call comes after The Courier asked readers to pinpoint hooning hotspots in an online survey that drew an overwhelming response.

STUPID: A hoon burns rubber at the intersection of the Glenelg Highway and Bells Road. Picture: Lachlan Bence

STUPID: A hoon burns rubber at the intersection of the Glenelg Highway and Bells Road. Picture: Lachlan Bence

More than 500 submissions in one day underlined the scourge of erratic driving across the city.

Up to 20 residents along Dytes Parade at Ballarat East voiced their concerns about hoons abusing the semi-sealed road.

“Pets are constantly run over, one day it will be a child,” one resident wrote.

“We fear our lives crossing the road to the park”.

Ballarat Highway Patrol Acting Senior Sergeant Ben Young said hooning in any form would not be tolerated.

“Hoon driving involves risk-taking behaviour and often excessive speeds, which puts the community at risk,” he said.

“Police encourage any people who witness hoon driving to obtain vehicle registrations, if safe to do so, and report the incident through triple-0 if it is immediate.

Ditchy's view.

Ditchy's view.

“If not, you can report hooning through Crime Stoppers via their website or on the hoon hotline on 1800 333 000.”

Police treat reports of erratic driving seriously and will act on calls from the public.

But many Ballarat residents feel helpless to combat the situation. 

In The Courier poll, readers nominated sections on a map where they had witnessed hooning, revealing no suburb was immune to the crime.

One respondent said it was a city-wide problem.

“Just take a look at unsightly tyre graffiti on virtually any of the intersections in central south Ballarat to grasp the extent of the problem,” they wrote.

“Donuts, burnouts, excessive speed. A serious social problem here and elsewhere that governments need to address as a matter of priority.”

Anti-hoon laws were introduced in Victoria back in 2006, giving police the power to impound, immobilise or permanently confiscate vehicles driven by people in a dangerous manner.

Hume City Council in Melbourne’s northwest revealed a radical plan to stop hoons last week.

Workers laid on bitumen roads a coarse spray seal, which can burn through rubber, destroying the tyres of cars attempting skids and burnouts.