Too many near misses: residents fed up of hoon drivers on street

SAFETY CONCERN: Orion Street residents Dean, Ethan, Caitlyn, Mary, Dot, Scott and Simone are fed up with hoons on their street in Sebastopol, with many fearing for the safety of families and young children. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric
SAFETY CONCERN: Orion Street residents Dean, Ethan, Caitlyn, Mary, Dot, Scott and Simone are fed up with hoons on their street in Sebastopol, with many fearing for the safety of families and young children. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

Frustrated Sebastopol residents are calling for speed humps on their street, after putting up with hoon drivers almost every night of the week.

Dean moved into a house on Orion Street in Sebastopol with his partner and young boy around 13 months ago.

He said he was afraid cars speeding, doing burnouts, doughnuts and screeching tyres would crash into the front of their home. 

“The drivers almost lose control on most occasions,” he said. 

“I have got another kid on the way, and other families live on the street. You can’t even go outside and do your gardening because you are scared you are going to get hit.

“There are cars that do up to 80km, sometimes 100km an hour on this road.” 

Fellow resident Eve has been living on the street for almost 11 years.

She said she had put up with the hoon driving the entire time at night and on weekends, but it had become more frequent in recent months. 

“The noise is horrible. The revving of the engines just goes on and on and they skid the tyres,” she said. 

HOONS: Skid marks left by hoons on Orion Street in Sebastopol. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

HOONS: Skid marks left by hoons on Orion Street in Sebastopol. Picture: Luka Kauzlaric

Eve contacted City of Ballarat in 2012 to report the problem and requested speed deterrents like speed humps or chicanes be installed on the street. 

“I said ‘there is old people who live on this road, there are young children all around me. One of the children are going to get killed one of these days’,” Eve said. 

Dean made another request to council in 2017 to push for speed humps to be installed on the street. 

City of Ballarat director infrastructure and environment Terry Demeo council said council was aware Orion Street experienced hoon behaviour. 

He did not comment whether speed humps would be installed on Orion Street, but said the Local Area Traffic Management program prioritised locations following data collection at sites affected by hoon driving. 

“There is evidence of hoon behaviour in many streets across Ballarat. This represents a concern for police, all levels of government and communities,” Mr Demeo said. 

Ballarat Police Acting Sergeant Steve Oliver said residents should call 000 as soon as they experience hoon driving, noting as much detail as possible, including the registration, make and model of the car and whether they recognise the car. 

“If people are driving irresponsibly it puts pedestrians and motorists at risk. It is one of the high priorities in Victoria police in terms of road deaths and road safety,” he said. 

Members of the public can also report hoon activity to police by telephoning Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Callers to Crime Stoppers do not have to give their name.

Ditchy's view

Ditchy's view

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