21 Jul 2015

Speeding locals caught in racer crackdown

8:51 am on 21 July 2015

A police operation to cut the number of boy racers around Banks Peninsula has caught mainly speeding residents in the net.

Banks Peninsula.

Banks Peninsula. Photo: 123RF

But locals said even so, they are happy fewer boy racers were now on their roads.

Canterbury Anti-Social Road User Squad head Sergeant Gary Hancock said the operation was carried out after residents made complaints about speeding and cars racing each other.

"On the Friday night, there were only about ten what you would consider boy racer cars come through the area."

During the operation 25 speeding tickets were issued, 24 of which went to residents.

Sergeant Hancock said most of the time the boy racers were not speeding; it was the way they drove which prompted complaints.

"It is the manner in which they drive which makes it sound like they are speeding, they accelerate and break hard."

He said after the quakes the number of boy racers decreased but the problem spread out.

Inner harbour resident Rosie Belton said boy racer activity dropped after the earthquakes but had been getting progressively worse over the past 18 months.

"The speeding and racing was one thing but according to residents there were also issues of behaviour. Some people were experiencing very bad behavior of bottles being thrown and people being loud and stopping near residential areas, and just making an absolute nuisance of themselves."

Ms Belton said following the recent police operation things had been better.

"We are very happy, very delighted we have been listened to at last. It took quite a while, a lot of people ringing in to get some sort of traction on this."

Driving around with the police Antisocial Road User Squad on Friday, the only boy racer style cars to be seen on the peninsula belonged to University of Canterbury Motorsport Society members.

One member, who did not want to be named, said it was hard when his passion for cars created a negative stereotype.

"It's challenging to discern between the two groups of people. You get the people who are out to do skids and cause trouble, and then you get the people who are just legitimate enthusiasts," he said.

"When we meet up, we get together to talk about cars really, and we go for a drive because that's what we do but we're not out there drag racing and doing skids."

Christchurch City Council is reviewing existing speed limits across all roads in the district, with decisions on reductions expected to be made next year.

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