21 Jun 2012

First boy racer car crushed

2:29 pm on 21 June 2012

Three years since it was enacted, the anti-boy racer legislation has claimed its first victim with the crushing of a car belonging to a Wellington man.

The first car was wrecked at a Lower Hutt yard on Thursday with Police Minister Anne Tolley operating the controls.

Police Minister Anne Tolley hoped to send a strong warning to boy racers.

Police Minister Anne Tolley hoped to send a strong warning to boy racers. Photo: RNZ

The identity of the owner hasn't been revealed but Inspector John Price, police area commander in Kapiti-Mana where the racer was last caught, says he was an extremely dangerous driver.

He said the car owner did a burnout on State Highway 1 which was a real safety issue for members of the public.

Mrs Tolley pressed the remote control that set the crusher going at Macaulay Metals in Seaview.

Examining the flattened car, she said she hoped it sent a strong warning to boy racers, especially the 116 who have committed two offences.

"The young guy whose car it is would be devastated. It would be devastating for me if that was my car, and I don't hoon round neighbourhoods doing wheelies. I think it's a really strong message."

Legislation that came into effect in 2009 including the Sentencing (Vehicle Confiscation) Amendment Act allows for the destruction of cars whose owners had committed a third offence.

Mrs Tolley says says the change has already had an impact with a 17% drop in street racing offences in the past year.

However Dog and Lemon Guide website editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says crushing the cars is pointless and it would be better to educate the drivers.