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Thursday, October 22

Street racers vs. The cruser

Illegal street racers will face the ultimate deterrent with the passing of a law today which will see the worst offenders' cars confiscated and destroyed, Police Minister Judith Collins said.

The Sentencing Amendment (Vehicle Confiscation) Act 2009 allows vehicles to be seized and destroyed as a new penalty for illegal street racing.

"In the past, vehicle confiscation and fines alone have failed to stop large, unruly gatherings of illegal street racers, dangerous behaviour on our roads and sleepless nights for residents," Ms Collins said.

"The car is the most prized possession of the illegal street racer. Confiscating and destroying the vehicles of the worst, repeat offenders will be the ultimate deterrent and send a strong signal that illegal street racing will no longer be tolerated."

The new law closes loopholes in the previous legislation that allowed illegal street racers escape penalty.

In the past, illegal street racers have been able to sell vehicles prior to them being confiscated, and then buy them back. Illegal street racers have also avoided penalty by committing offences in a vehicle belonging to someone else.

"By allowing the courts to order the destruction of confiscated cars, we will be taking these vehicles off the road permanently, preventing illegal street racers buying back their cars and reoffending," Ms Collins said.

"By enabling Police and courts to target illegal street racers who use another person's car to offend, this will encourage car owners to take a greater level of responsibility for their property."

Ms Collins said the law was a major step forward in making streets safer and neighbourhoods more peaceful.

"Make no mistake - Illegal street racers who continue to flout the law can look forward to a date with the crusher."