Stawell police crack down on hoons

Stawell Police are continuing to crack down on hoon driving, sending a warning to motorists that if they insist on doing the wrong thing, they will be caught.

The warning follows a spate of hoon driving offences detected by police in recent months.

First Constable Jamie Bennett said police were particularly concerned with the increased number of black tyre marks left by hoon drivers within the township and surrounding roads.

He said the hoons possibly weren't aware that by driving in this manner, they are putting their lives and the lives of others, at risk.

"We only need to watch the news every night to see what the consequences this type of driving behaviour can result in," First Constable Bennett said.

"Many drivers lose control and crashing into homes or shops, causing thousands of dollars damage.

"There is also a very high likelihood of injury to innocent residents, pedestrians, occupants of the vehicle and the driver themselves.

"Unfortunately these drivers believe they are invincible and the 'best drivers' and that it won't happen to them, but one day it will, as we see nearly every night.

"First Constable Bennett said regular patrols around the streets of Stawell by police did succeed in detecting hoon driving behaviour, but he admitted members cannot be everywhere, all the time.

"Police can't be on every corner or street patrolling and we need the assistance of the community to supply information to us if they see something," he said.

"All we are asking the public to do is 'dob in a hoon' to assist us.

"Two alarming incidents involving hoon driving were detected by police in Great Western and Stawell. 

The offences were reported to police by members of the public and resulted in charges being laid.

"One incident was a speeding motorist going through Great Western," First Constable Bennett said.

"The driver would turn off the Western Highway and go along the back road at a fast rate of speed every morning. 

Police were able to catch this driver at more than 40 kilometres per hour over the speed limit.

 He has been summonsed to appear in court for driving related offences and his vehicle was impounded for 30 days.

"The second male driver was seen by witnesses doing a burnout as he took of from the intersection of Mary Street and Clifton Avenue. 

 He then fishtailed the vehicle along Bennett Street. 

The male was interviewed for driving related offences and again summonsed to appear in court at a later date.

"First Constable Bennett said an application would be made to the court to have the vehicle impounded.

Officer in Charge of the Stawell Police Station, Senior Sergeant Warren Groves, said police were working hard on changing the culture and thinking of young drivers in a bid to curb the hoon behaviour.

He said a major part of the campaign was getting the message across that there will be consequences for hoon behaviour.

"Tough new laws targeting hoon drivers have led to a significant increase in vehicle impoundments, sending a strong message that Victorians will no longer tolerate dangerous and anti-social driving behaviour," S/Sgt Groves said.

"We are seeing results in our region that the laws are having an impact, but there's still that culture that we're trying to address with the youth," he said.

"They think it's a right of passage, they get their cars and show off and try to prove themselves and impress their friends.

"They need to know there will be dire consequences, such as loss of licence or having their vehicles seized.

"They also need to know the risk they put the community in as well, and look at the whole picture when it comes to speed and the huge risks associated with that."

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