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Hooning disturbing the peace

Grass wrecked by cars at Queen Elizabeth Park, Masterton. PHOTO/KAREN COLTMAN

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Bollards are being considered by Masterton District Council to prevent hoons from destroying grounds at Queen Elizabeth Park.

Last week, part of the community asset was reduced to mud after one or more vehicles wrecked the lawn, leaving behind trails of donut-shaped tire-marks.

Council community facilities and activities manager Andrea Jackson said the council could not monitor community assets at all times, “and we encourage anybody witnessing vandalism of this type to contact the police”.

“Behaviour of this type is entirely unacceptable and has damaged part of a well-used and appreciated community asset,” she said.

“There are also safety implications for families and other uses of this popular area.

“The council is considering use of bollards at the site to protect pedestrians, and the site, and to provide guidance to motorists who may require it.

“But, as we have said before, we would prefer to spend money on facilities for the community. “

Bouts of hooning and unauthorised drag racing has also been reported to police at Oxford St, Masterton.

An elderly resident of 42 years hates the unauthorised drag racing that goes on and said police were on the street “all the time” and, “it goes on and on, day and night and in the early hours of the morning”.

The street has a pattern of tyre-marks starting near Mawley Camping Ground with a donut-shaped mark. At the other end of the road, there are numerous, interwoven black tyre-rubber marks on both sides of the road and into people’s driveways.

The resident, who did not wish to be named, said the screeching sound was terrible but it was hard for the police to catch the culprits doing it.

Police callout records show half a dozen incidents of drag racing happening in Masterton over the past two weeks in numerous places around the town.

However, Senior Sergeant Jennifer Hansen said, at this stage, there was no pattern of drag racing happening in the district.

“When these reports of drag racing are made, an available unit is often dispatched to the area and other local staff advised of any identifying details of the offending vehicle to be on the lookout for it in the course of their patrols,” Hansen said.

“Depending on the manner of driving, a range of offences could be considered including dangerous driving or operating a motor vehicle causing sustained loss of traction.”

It is an offence to aid or incite someone using a vehicle on a road in a manner that causes the vehicle to undergo sustained loss of traction.

The penalty for using a vehicle like this is a maximum of three months’ imprisonment and a $4500 fine as well as a minimum six-month disqualification from driving.

“Persons caught operating their vehicle in a race or showing an unnecessary exhibition of speed or, in a manner that caused the vehicle to undergo sustained loss of traction will also have their vehicle seized and impounded for 28 days,” Hansen said.

“We encourage people to continue to report any poor driving or driving offending and when possible obtain details of the offending vehicle including make, model and colour, registration plate details and any other identifying features.”

Hansen said Masterton police encouraged observers to note particular times or days it was happening to help them build a pattern and to ensure it could dispatch police units appropriately.


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