Police crackdown on boy racers

HALF of all cars inspected during a crackdown on “boy racers” were immediately taken off the road, police said last night.

James Mortlock

HALF of all cars inspected during a crackdown on “boy racers” were immediately taken off the road, police said.

Cars were banned from the roads by safety inspectors during the spot checks in Bury St Edmunds until problems with tinted glass, booming exhausts and defective tyres were rectified.

A total of 14 vehicles were examined in Bury in one night during a multi-agency evening of advice and enforcement centred around anti-social vehicle use.

Police from the Bury Central and East/West Safer Neighbourhood Teams joined with St Edmundsbury Borough Council, Suffolk Fire Service and VOSA (the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) for the operation following a number of complaints concerning young people driving in town centre car parks.

Between 7.45pm and 9.30pm traffic officers stopped fourteen vehicles which were then examined. Thirteen were found to have faults which ranged from the tinted windows being too dark to defective tyres and noisy exhaust systems.

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Vehicle examiners issued seven prohibition notices, which ban the use of the cars involved until the faults are rectified. Most drivers were shown a Fire Service DVD presentation “Learn and Live”.

Organiser Sgt Steve Henthorn, of the Bury Central Safer Neighbourhood Team, said he was not impressed with the results: “I am disappointed that almost every vehicle we checked had some sort of fault, some more dangerous than others. One of the worst defects was a vehicle with two defective tyres, one of which had the wires exposed.

“Most of the drivers we spoke to were receptive and gained an understanding of how their vehicles could have a damaging effect on their lives and the lives of others. They were shown how loud stereo systems and exhausts not only affect the quality of life of local residents when they gather in local car parks, but how they can also affect the drivers' health and well-being.”

Further action is planned across West Suffolk to combat anti-social vehicle use, particularly noisy exhausts. Insp Zoe Finn, of the Bury Roads Policing Unit, said: “Noise caused by people who drive their vehicles in a way to draw attention to themselves, and who modify their vehicles with larger exhausts and sound systems, is a problem which affects communities across west Suffolk.

“Fines of £30 can be issued for excessive noise and officers will be pro-actively targeting offending vehicles. VOSA also has powers to enforce the law around noisy exhausts, and can order vehicles to be retested by garages to ensure their exhausts are legal.”

The Ram Meadow car park in Bury remains closed overnight for a trial period in response to concerns from local residents about anti-social vehicle use there.

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