Newly laid roads are being ripped up by hoon drivers who are shredding their tyres for kicks.
Roads such as Cuthberts Road, Dytes Parade and Glenelg Highway near Bells Road are long standing hoon hot spots while newly-laid, wider roads which have been designed to allow trucks to turn around at the Ballarat West Employment Zone (BWEZ) are proving to be a haven for dangerous driving as well.
Police are concerned that it is only a matter of time before a person is seriously injured or killed by an out of control car.
Ballarat Highway Patrol Sergeant Ross Humphrey said industrial areas were popular for hoon drivers trying to impress friends.
“We do target these areas frequently,” Sergeant Humphrey said.
“The trouble we find is it is in a slightly secluded area and if they see a police car coming, then more often they disappear pretty fast.
“We are constantly patrolling for such vehicles, but there’s times when they can be stolen or unregistered as well.”
Sgt Humphrey said while the common school of thought was that hoon driving was the bastion of younger, male drivers, it wasn’t necessarily the case.
“It’s something we see in all age groups, from people in their 20s, right up to people in their 50s,” he said.
“It is stupid behaviour and it’s hard to understand what kick people do get out of it. It can be incredibly dangerous particularly for passengers in the car or those that might happen to be spectating.”
Sgt Humphrey said while industrial areas were key hotspots, hoon behaviour was still occurring around suburban areas as well.
“It’s a problem all across the state and from experience it’s a pretty common thing all around,” he said.
“It’s been a reoccurring problem for some time and over the years we’ve impounded a number of vehicles. Sometimes, depending on how many times the car has been impounded car have been destroyed as a result.”
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.
Hooning is classed as any offence involving behaviours that compromise road safety such as using a vehicle to engage in a drag race, speeding or creating unnecessary disturbances.
These offences traditionally carried a penalty of impoundment or immobilisation of a vehicle for two days. However, police are now permitted to impound or immobilise a vehicle for up to 90 days or confiscate a vehicle permanently.
To report hoon behaviour in your area, call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
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