WARNING: Footage contains explicit language.
When shops are shut up for the evening and most Canberrans are long gone from industrial suburbs like Fyshwick, Hume and Majura, modified car enthusiasts make use of the large car parks and empty spaces left behind to organise impromptu meetups.
On any given Friday night, between 50 and 100 vehicles gather.
Most events are organised via social media. And most of the time, police are not concerned with people meeting up – as long as no anti-social or hooning behaviour takes place.
Unfortunately, the state of the roads the morning after the meetups would suggest that’s exactly the kind of activity taking place, according to one source who contacted Region Media.
Skid marks, rubber from tyres and other rubbish, including empty bottles and food wrappers, tell what took place after dark.
An ACT Policing spokesperson says police will intervene if they see street-racing, conducting burnouts, drifting or speeding, and they acknowledged they are regularly called out to respond to incidents of street racing and burnout activity on Canberra’s roads.
For police, the usual process is to disperse the meeting and then, at a later time, engage the drivers to hand out fines or have their vehicle impounded.
Drivers identified as street racing, conducting burnouts or speeding can and do face a range of penalties, including fines, criminal charges, and vehicle impoundment.
Similarly, any vehicles identified as un-roadworthy or illegally modified can be ordered off the road until the issue is rectified and fines may be issued.
Members of the public are encouraged to report incidents of hooning to ACT Policing on 13 14 44 with as much information as possible – including the make, model and colour of the vehicle involved and the location of the incident.
In the five years to November 2021, more than 4000 cautions, infringements and charges have been issued by police to people caught hooning. In May 2021, a total of 150 hooning offences were recorded.
After a spate of fatalities on Canberra’s roads in the last week, police are encouraging drivers to be particularly considerate of their own and the wider community’s safety.
“Speeding and dangerous driving can have serious consequences – as we have seen in the ACT in the past week,” a police spokesperson said.
Twenty-year-old Canberran Matthew McLukie was killed last week in a head-on smash on Hindmarsh Drive on his way home from work. It’s believed two other vehicles were involved in a race at the time the incident occurred.
His family today issued an appeal for anyone with any information about a suspected third vehicle involved in the incident to come forward.
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