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Crusher crushes rights

Written By: - Date published: 5:33 pm, May 26th, 2009 - 86 comments
Categories: human rights, transport - Tags:

Collins has given us a little teaser of what’s in her car-crushing law. As any fool could have predicted the fascist in her couldn’t stop just at crushing the cars of repeat traffic offenders who don’t pay their fines.

  1. A new penalty for illegal street racing would allow vehicles to be seized and destroyed.
  2. Vehicles used by people with overdue traffic fines can be seized and sold to pay those fines.
  3. Local authorities will be able to create bylaws prevent vehicles repeatedly “cruising” city streets.
  4. Vehicles involved in illegal street racing will be impounded
  5. Demerit points will be given for noise offences, licence breaches and registration plate officers. Repeat offenders will lose their licences rather than just accrue fines.

“Local authorities will be able to create bylaws prevent vehicles repeatedly “cruising” city streets.” Think about that.

No wrongdoing there. No dangerous driving needed. No refusal to pay fines needed. No excessive noise needed. No disturbance of the peace needed. Councils will be able to fine drivers just for driving around.

The punishment will be just for being a boyracer doing peaceful, non-disturbing boyracer stuff. What’s next? If a minister who has a hang up about getting chewing gum won their shoe will they give councils the power to fine you just for chewing even if you throw the gum in the rubbish?

I hope you’ve got a problem with that. The Bill of Rights does:

16. Freedom of peaceful assembly

Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.

17. Freedom of association

Everyone has the right to freedom of association.

18. Freedom of movement

(1) Everyone lawfully in New Zealand has the right to freedom of movement and residence in New Zealand.

I’m no lawyer. I know we’ve got rights in this country though. They shouldn’t be taken away without good reason.

There will be the usual response from the Right. ‘Who cares about boyracers’ rights?’ I don’t care much about boyracers. Dumb way to spend your time and money. I do care about people’s rights though. So should you.

If you and I turn a blind eye when boyracers have their rights taken away with no good reason, who stand beside us when it’s our rights for the chop?

86 comments on “Crusher crushes rights”

  1. felix 1

    All the freedom-loving right-wing kiwis who got so bent about their human right to inefficient lighting are gonna be really pissed about this…

    Oh hang on, they’re almost entirely full of shit! What was I thinking?

    • the sprout 1.1

      sounds like rampant Nanny-Statism to me felix.
      but you’re right, they are full of shit, not least of which because they actually quite like the idea of Nanny Thatcher and Nanny Collins suckling them and smacking their naughty bottoms.

      i wonder how many Bentleys and Masseratis will be crushed?

    • Rex Widerstrom 1.2

      Well I certainly am. So I’m presumably not.

      This is knee-jerkism of the worst order. Aside from the measures aimed specifically at illegal street racing, the kind of people who are going to be trapped in this net are those who struggle to afford to keep a roadworthy vehicle on the road (and thus might get pinged for no registration), those who’ve committed other, relatively minor, types of moving violations (e.g. failing to fully stop at a stop sign), and even people who’ve simply put off replacing a crappy muffler while they saved the money. Mainly the poor, in other words.

      And, as Steve Withers sensibly points out below, it will only encourage those (such as myself) who already hold law enforcement in fairly low regard to create a new, even lower, scale against which to register their behaviour.

      • Swampy 1.2.1

        Why is that? You and Withers hold law enforcement in low regard? That’s your problem, don’t impose it on us. I hold law enforcement in high regard. Maybe you believe anarchy works? I don’t, that’s the Act party / Libertarians who believe in anarchy.

        And you have no respect for democracy, this is going through Parliament to be passed by a majority of the MPs, that is democracy.

        If you think anything was gained by having some sort of protest because you dislike law enforcement then you must be implicitly supporting the boy racer community because that is what they hold in high regard, civil disobedience, and I don’t see how that could be considered a good thing in society.

  2. mike 2

    Great call Crusher! The promise of this type of tough action is what got the Nats voted in – hell even Phil-in can see the ground swell and is backing the tories.

    Public crushings in the Square? can’t wait…

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Your objection to the soviets is pretty much about Tax isn’t it mike?

  3. burt 3

    Apart from “Local authorities will be able to create bylaws prevent vehicles repeatedly “cruising’ city streets.” I’m not seeing anything other than ways to enforce existing laws which IMHO is a good thing.

    The ‘anti cruising’ provisions do however cause me some concern because it provides an opportunity for subjective interpretation. We are on a very slippery slope when the law of common sense is needed to interpret laws.

    I’ll be watching this one carefully – but so far the rest of it, based on what limited info is available, sounds like good stuff to me.

    captcha: Mayor defy – spooky stuff.

  4. infused 4

    Did you not hear them explain what crusing meant? It’s not subjective, it’s been defined. Sorry it’s not a law of common sense. You’re made some crap posts lately.

    Car crushing for the win

    Also, this was caused by Labours will to do nothing about the problem.

    • Swampy 4.1

      Labour did something, the problem was they made it look like Cosgrove and Duynhoven who are on the right of their party were out on a limb. Poor fellas, they were pushing these laws while the Sisterhood were busy making the real decisions to kneecap them.

      That’s the way I see it. Some people in Labour who really wanted something done about the problem are being undermined by the majority in that party who are busy making other decisions that create the problems in the first place.

  5. burt 5

    infused

    I most humbly apologise for not hearing the same news as you did. I don’t know what came over me posting before I checked to make sure I was as up to date as you.

    I guess I’ve got no need to watch that one now because you heard it all and can tell me my concerns are crap.

    Thanks for your help on this matter.

  6. infused 6

    No problem.

  7. Ms X 7

    is anyone going to do something about all the cycle races taking place on main highways? Oh, silly me, it’s not just young people. Can’t be a problem then can it?

  8. Rich 8

    Plus of course, she doesn’t do anything about her hooligan constituents in their Holden V8s.

    I’d predict that if this is at all effective, kids will just steal cars and hoon around, as they do in the UK.

  9. Chris G 9

    I’m sorry but I really dislike boyracers. I would go and watch a public crushing and potentially pay money. I know im siding with the hypocritical right – all about ‘rights’ one day and taking them away from people the next (Theyll never admit that)

    That aside, you make a fine point with:

    If you and I turn a blind eye when boyracers have their rights taken away with no good reason, who stand beside us when it’s our rights for the chop?

    That is a good point.

    I know the NDU stands by me at the workplace though! We got a new contract WooHoo! Go Union!

  10. Having worked in prisons and observed the attitude and behaviour there, I know these people see authority as capricious, unaccountable, arbitary and hostile. The enemy. I’m thinking Crusher Collins’ new law could well result in more car thefts and more people driving without licences. What are they gonna do? Crush the stolen car? Sell it to pay fines? Throw them in jail? They could care less if they are having a good time at that moment. These guys live in the moment……”deterrence” isn’t effective for people already jousting with the police and breaking the law. They often aren’t very bright….but what they do can be very much shaped by their feelings and attitudes to the person or thing in front of them.

    Judith Collins’ approach will likely be counter-productive in some way we will discover in time.

    • the sprout 10.1

      yep, that’s what i reckon SW

      Car crushing fist of the State

    • burt 10.2

      I think your assessment of the ‘usual suspects’ is accurate, it also fits with my experience. I also agree that there will be unintended consequences which will come out over time. Who knows if they are acceptable or unacceptable, meanwhile the dice is about to be rolled.

      Do you have a solution, or part solution? I think the problem is not going to be solved at the point of irritation (the cars on the streets) the problem can only be policed at that level. I think crushing will assist in driving home the “stop it” message but the problem is not going to go away till it’s seriously uncool to have a ‘boy racer’ car.

    • Swampy 10.3

      That is not our problem. The majority of society are law abiding people who do not share such views, I identify strongly with that majority. If that was not the case then society would be in a lot worse shape than it is now.

      I suggest you go to an RSA anzac day parade and see if the old diggers are fans of boy racers, people go there to acknowledge that we owe having a free and democratic society because of the old soldiers, and that is a whole different attitude from “these people”.

      I know that when I am feeling really negative about the amount of abuse that we put up with from the boy racer idiots, that there are still an awful lot of decent people in society that vastly outnumber the obnoxiousness of “these people” and that really makes my day to remember that.

      If you really think that the government should do nothing at all, or worse, try to appease “these people” then I really pity the future of society under such an approach. People at large are not going to lie down and be steamrolled that is for sure.

  11. Spectator 11

    I don’t give a flying duck for boy-racers’ rights but as one of those who’s taxes pay for our Police I think this plan makes no sense. Instead of crushing them (which costs money) confiscate them and auction them to the public (which raises money)

  12. Zaphod Beeblebrox 12

    Whats the point? Second hand cars are dirt cheap and by the time the’yve been driven the racers are probably keen to save having to take them to wreckers.
    How about making third party insurance compulsory so there’s a cost to driving and owning a car

    Current legislation allows you to do this anyway- just a PR stunt dreamt up by the National spin doctors. (the amphetimine ban was the same thing).
    John Howard was the master of these BTW. Wait for the middle class welfare stunts to get them onside.

    • burt 12.1

      “How about making third party insurance compulsory so there’s a cost to driving and owning a car “

      Exactly, however some will argue it simply shifts the problem. What do you do when drivers are discovered as ‘not insured’ ? Impound the car? Fine them? – We are quickly back in the same place we started unfortunately – compliance.

    • Swampy 12.2

      Make 3rd party compulsory? Hey, these boy racers don’t care much about the law. What makes you think that measure will have any greater effect?

  13. tsmithfield 13

    Well, on newstalk, zb today, Clayton Cosgrove was berating National because the proposed law didn’t go far enough. Cosgrove wasn’t happy that it was to be left to a court to decide whether to crush the cars. He wants the crushing law as mandatory.

    I have no problem at all with the new law. Boy racers are an absolute pest here in Christchurch. Rights usually go hand in hand with responsibilities. If boy-racers can’t drive responsibly, they should lose their rights.

    • the sprout 13.1

      Cosgrove is a tyre-kicking throw back for sure, the clue’s in his monobrow.

  14. Do you mean tsmithfield, that if 1 boy racer breaks the law, all boy racers should loose their rights?

    • Pascal's bookie 14.1

      Perhaps we should change it’s name to the New Zealand Bill of Privileges Act.

  15. I also wonder weather it has occurred to you that the typical punishment in New Zealand for breaking the law (those responsibilities you speak of) is fines, imprisonment, car or license confiscation, rather than removal of human rights. I for one would like it to stay that way.

    • Swampy 15.1

      This is not anything about removal of human rights. You can enjoy all of those rights without owning a boy racer car or driving in a boy racer way. Most people do.

      What you are asking is that these people have the right to take other people’s rights away. Does the BOR say someone can drive dangerously on the road, drive a vehicle that makes an excessive amount of noise or drive a vehicle that has been illegally modified? Doesn’t seem to be in there, does it.

  16. gingercrush 16

    KITNo. If you are a law abiding boy racer (or even if you would call yourself a boy racer) I hardly see what you have to worry about. Since these bills are targeting those who are not abiding by the laws.

    • (I wouldn’t call myself a boy racer, but since just about every one else would I don’t even bother to try suggesting otherwise)

      I have no problem with harsher punishments for those already breaking the rules (not that I think they will work, but that’s beside the point). I do have a problem, mainly with the rule about “cruising”. Its a catch all designed to short cut the process, and avoid the police having to prove that someone has actually done something illegal.

      I’m just not comfortable with the level of subjectivity it is giving to the police, partiucarly in such a highly politically volatile subject. I don’t like being told “trust me it will be ok”.

  17. rolla_fxgt 17

    Some of the posts on here are usually a bit rabid, but this is one of the best written posts I’ve read in awhile, Keep it up.

    I drive what might be considered a boy racer car, I don’t race, or do stupid stuff, other than the crime 99% of the driving population are also guilty of, namely I occasionally break the speed limit buy a small margin (say 115 in a 100 zone). But under this law, just because of the car I drive & the fact I’m a member of a car club that occasionally has cruises I could loose my car, because Judith opened her mouth before thinking, and now has had to front up with the goods.

    The crusising portion of the act is the most stupid thing I have ever heard of.
    Under this, parking wardens would loose their scooters (not saying this is a bad thing), courier drivers could loose their vehicles (since they go around the block a few times).

    Already there is numerous cases I know of where the Police when given powers over subjective laws, they misuse their powers. The exhaust noise is a case of this, even though the police can get access to noise meters, and use them they don’t, they decide arbitrarily that they can’t find anything actually wrong with that car, but hey what the heck lets just say its ‘too loud’ and green or pink sticker it off the road, which requires an expensive (at least $150 but could be more than $400) test, which more often than not proves they were within acceptable limits. The Police also fail in their knowledge of basic vehicle laws, such as those around the LVVTA certification process (where a highly qualified engineer inspects and approves the modifications, any change and you have to get everything reinspected), also lighting requirements, minimum road clearance, and what even requires a certification.
    I know there are some absolute muppets amongst the ‘boy racer’ crowd, that drive around on cut springs, with overloaded cars, and poor diesel on the roads. But we tend to get rid of them ourselves, by shunning them, and even dobbing them in. The cops should be given powers to go after them and crush their cars (they’re rubbish anyway & usually rust buckets), which this law will do, but why only focus on boy racers? There are many unroadworthy cars on the road today, with bald tires, rust, etc, its not unique to just boy racers, so why focus on them, why not also parents that drive there kids around in rusty cars with bald tires, or old ladies that do 80k on the open road, etc etc.

    This law should be voted down before it even gets to select commitee. National are populist sell outs of late

    • “Already there is numerous cases I know of where the Police when given powers over subjective laws, they misuse their powers. The exhaust noise is a case of this, even though the police can get access to noise meters, and use them they don’t, they decide arbitrarily that they can’t find anything actually wrong with that car, but hey what the heck lets just say its ‘too loud’ and green or pink sticker it off the road, which requires an expensive (at least $150 but could be more than $400) test,”

      This is particularly frustrating for car owners as they are expected to stump up the cash to prove their innocence, once they have been subjectively decided to be guilty by the police. Compare this with blood alcohol testing, which previously you only paid for the test if you were found over the limit, and due to a recent court ruling I think now the police always pay for the test. Its just not good enough.

      which more often than not proves they were within acceptable limits. The Police also fail in their knowledge of basic vehicle laws

      And that’s why they tried to have the law changed saying if it is referred for an ltsa check it has to be 85 not 95, to make up for their uselessness.

      so why focus on them, why not also parents that drive there kids around in rusty cars with bald tires, or old ladies that do 80k on the open road, etc etc.

      Because they are the easiest targets out, people (who on other issues are staunch defenders of human rights) find them all to easy to vilify.

      Out of interest what kind of FX GT have you got? I’ve got an AE82

    • Swampy 17.2

      There is plenty of focus on all types of vehicles on the roads but the boy racer community is causing the most problems so they get the most attention and that makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it.

  18. Local authorities will be able to create bylaws prevent vehicles repeatedly “cruising’ city streets.

    And any vehicle (note, not driver, but vehicle) which violates those bylaws after receiving a warning must be impounded. That’s the same penalty we impose on disqualified drivers and severe repeeat drunk drivers.

    Can you say “disproportionate”?

    • Swampy 18.1

      No. If you’re saying that boy racers don’t have the same social impact as drunk driving, that is wrong. if you only measure it by the number of people killed then that is a pretty crude indication.

  19. Pascal's bookie 19

    Well for one thing councils are being given the power to ban ‘cruising’, which is a new thing…

    cruising means driving repeatedly over the same section of a road in a motor vehicle in a manner that
    (a) draws attention to the power or sound of the engine of the motor vehicle being driven; or
    (b) creates a convoy that?
    (i) is formed otherwise than in trade; and
    (ii) impedes traffic flow

    Hmm can’t see any problems with enforcing that against a bunch of motivated enthusiasts that belong to clubs and are feeling hard done by.

    As for the rest, it’s covered in the post, in the section starting:

    I hope you?ve got a problem with that. The Bill of Rights does:

    • burt 19.1

      PB

      To be honest the cruising shit is the only bit about this that really stirs my interest. Crushing is yada yada because when you boil it down it is no more than sensationalised and cost efficient permanent impounding. Recovery of unpaid fines via selling vehicles sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

      However with you all the way on the ‘cruising’. It’s bollocks.

      • Pascal's bookie 19.1.1

        happy to agree with you for once. I’m with the poster that the hobby seems silly to me, but this is just asking for trouble.

        How are the cops going to prove that a car was ‘driving repeatedly over the same section of a road’? Will they always be taking photo’s? What if you’ve got a loudish car and are looking for a park?

        I’ll bet we see a few cases of people being guilty of driving a flash car while being brown too.

        • I can’t remember who it was, when I was maybe 9 or 10 years old, possibly Michael Campbell or a singer?, or some other fairly well off brown skinned person who said they kept a laminated card in their flash v8 ford saying something along the lines of “No, this in not stolen, yes I am the registered owner, here is my drivers license, no I don’t have any unpaid fines”. And to think I thought he was joking at the time…

        • burt 19.1.1.2

          I don’t think the race card is appropriate at this time. But since it has been played, are you talking local/gang brown, Beijing brown, Bangkok brown, Bangalore brown or any brown?

      • Idiot/Savant 19.1.2

        Crushing is yada yada because when you boil it down it is no more than sensationalised and cost efficient permanent impounding

        You forgot the “in-” in that.

        The government loses money on confiscations at present. Their own advice says they will lose even more on seizures. Its basically burning public money for little benefit, primarily so the government can posture as being “tough on crime”.

  20. Exactly, car crushing is just for show, all it really is is a fine equivalent to the value of your car, paid on the spot. And the kind of cars that most of the idiot behaviour goes on in are worth so little, if people are expecting 20-30k rx7’s and skylines to be on the block, then they are going to be sadly disappointed when they end up with a ford laser wagon on cutties, chromes and mirror tints.

  21. TightyRIghty 21

    Interesting how drink-driving and speeding, claiming 450 between them every year on our roads, are bad. actually not really interesting, they are terrible and the consequences are awful for all peoples involved. yet boy-racers claim at least ten of those lives, but going to the root of the problem is an assault on democracy. they are all as willful and stupid as each other, yet only by sheer weight of numbers are speeding and drink-driving are punishable by prevention.

    edit: didn’t make the point at all clear above. racers contribute to the road toll through their actions, and so deserve the same punitive measures that other sectors of society also incur through anti-social behaviour.

    • It’s about scale and proportionality. Boy racers are an irritant, nothing more – but they are receiving legal attention – and punishment – out of all proportion to the actual harm they do. And its being done in a particularly noxious (and likely ineffective) manner, driven primarily by PR priorities. The government wants to look “tough on crime”. Therefore it must find some chunk of “underpunished” criminals it can whip up hate against, and slam them against the wall. And that is all they care about.

      • Swampy 21.1.1

        Dearie me, Labour and National both supported tougher measures, that is a clear majority of the public voting for parties, so it is a mainstream issue.

        See, what else could be mainstream about it?
        * It’s a mainstream issue when boy racers congregate on the outskirts of town, do their burnouts and noise all night long, and basically terrorise the residents of those communities who feel threatened by the sheer force of numbers.
        * It’s a mainstream issue when law abiding every day people start taking vigilante action against boy racers who are repeatedly disturbing their peace and quiet in their suburban streets.
        * It’s a mainstream issue when boy racers are driving in such a dangerous way that they run people down in the street and kill them, or they run their cars off the road killing all their passengers and maybe someone in another car unfortunate enough to be in a collision with them.

        I personally sympathise, as I’m sure a great many average people do, with that guy in the Bay of Plenty who just put his hulking great four wheel drive in low gear and pushed some idiot boy racer’s car through a fence. But of course he was the one who ended up in court with a conviction, the idiot got away. I think you have to be concerned when ordinary people are prepared to resort to vigilanteism to deal with this stuff in their communities

        I think you need to get out of your ivory tower and get to understand why people really are whipped up about this issue. It’s all about attitude, you see. These boy racers are about a few things:
        * Their own selfish rights to drive their silly cars with illegal unsafe modifications making a lot of noise and driven dangerously. Remember, these cars have had a lot of money spent on them, a lot more than most people would be prepared to spend.
        * It is about their way of telling society to **** off in the most obnoxious possible terms, that is what the noisy exhausts are really about, being as offensive as possible to the widest number of people
        * It is about their way of asserting that they have the right to lord it over everyone else, they are king of the road etc, they own the roads or however it could be said.

        That of course being offensive to our processes of democracy and society as a whole.

        Now I for one am not about to give in to an undisciplined undemocratic rabble just because they want to make a statement against society, they don’t want to participate in it, they want to destroy it. Do you agree with that sentiment?

  22. tsmithfield 22

    killinginthenameof “Do you mean tsmithfield, that if 1 boy racer breaks the law, all boy racers should loose their rights?”

    The phrase “boy racer” in itself implies the illegal activity of racing on public roads. If you call yourself a boy-racer, it is the same as admitting to being a flagrant law-breaker who chooses to identify himself as such. So, yes.

    • lprent 22.1

      I suppose that because I am an ‘political activist’, then you’d equate that as ‘terrorist’. After all that is what those fools in the US and UK have been doing for some time. For that matter some of our own police have that same stupid mentality as well. Look at the ‘terrorist’ raids in 2007 that the police are trying to keep out of court at present (because it makes some of them look like fuckwits).

      Because I drive a modded low car with custom spoilers and a folding roof, you think that I’m some kind of a speed freak. Possibly even a ‘boy racer’ despite my advancing years and grey head.

      I really wish that the brain-dead like you would learn even the most basic principles of law. The basis of legal process of criminal charges is that it is your actions that you have to be convicted on first, not what other people think that you may have in mind.

      Under this a judge couldn’t convict you for being something like treason or contempt of court for proposing to change the basis of the legal system – as much as I’d like that they should. You haven’t done an action that warrants it.

      Unfortunately parliament cannot (currently) be over-ridden by the supreme court. That is how we get these strange laws in place where the act required for conviction amounts to someone in the police saying “they looked suspicious to me”, ie ‘cruising”. The presiding judge will essentially be looking for an action, and is unlikely to convict. So this winds up as more unenforceable law done for political fig-leaf reasons.

      What it will give the police is a extra-legal punishment tool because of the slowness of the courts. They will seize a car or license. Fail to get a conviction a year later. But there is no restitution against the police for your loss unless you are willing to spend at least another year in court trying the uncertain route of a civil action aginst the police. The IPCA being effectively toothless and of little relevance.

    • No, I have not broken the law in my car and have an empty criminal record to show for it. Boy racer does not imply criminal activity, it implies a bunch of people that you dont like because they are young, rebelious (though quite often not illegally), a fairly visible group (much easier to pick us out of a crowd than say skate boarders), in summary its a label given to a group on the basis of appearance of our cars. The criminal aspect comes along, as people like you find it much easier to support such flagrant abuses of human rights when you, without any proper basis, label a whole group as criminals.

      Do you think that someone who has never had a ticket in their life should be banned from driving through the middle of town on a Friday or Saturday night?

  23. tsmithfield 23

    Iprent “I suppose that because I am an ‘political activist’, then you’d equate that as ‘terrorist’.”

    No. Being a political activist does not imply any illegal activities. Being a boy-racer by definition involves illegal activities. If you are a boy-racer, then you are breaking the law, by definition. I hope you can see the difference.

    The “cruising” that the police are talking about includes things such as driving in large convoys, impeding other traffic, sounding off engines to make an impression on others etc, especially at times when it is very annoying to other citizens (as per interviews with Collins last night, the police on Breakfast this morning etc). So, it clearly does not apply to people looking for parking spaces etc as has been mooted by some.

    Given this qualification, I don’t really see where your problem is.

    • felix 23.1

      No, it doesn’t have to include all of those. Note the word “or” :

      cruising means driving repeatedly over the same section of a road in a motor vehicle in a manner that—
      (a) draws attention to the power or sound of the engine of the motor vehicle being driven; or
      (b) creates a convoy that—
      (i) is formed otherwise than in trade; and
      (ii) impedes traffic flow

      Perhaps you’d like to tell me how I can drive my car without drawing attention to the sound of it’s engine, Fred Flintstone?

      Perhaps you know a way to drive across town in a way that doesn’t form a “convoy” (whatever the fuck that really means – two cars? a car and two scooters?) which impedes traffic flow? Ever driven in the city without impeding traffic flow?

      This is another example of catch-all lawmaking – make perfectly normal behaviour illegal and then leave it up to the police to only charge those they are supposed to target.

      This is an ass-backwards way to make law. It’s lazy, it’s full of potential for abuse, and it once again puts the police in a role they should never be in – that of deciding who a law is intended to be applied to. For this last point alone, we are all worse off.

  24. tsmithfield 24

    Iprent “Perhaps you’d like to tell me how I can drive my car without drawing attention to the sound of it’s engine, Fred Flintstone?”

    Tigger “Things potentially caught by the law:

    Funeral processions
    Protests by the trucking lobby”

    It is reasonable to assume that the law will be fully defined so it does not catch law-abiding citizens, as that is not the intention of the law. If your main complaint about the “cruising” aspect of the law is its subjectivity, then we need to remove all other subjective aspects of the law.

    For instance, if I am pinged for going through an orange light, it is the subjective opinion of the officer who pinged me that is evidence of whether or not I had time to stop safely before the light turned red. There are many other aspects of the law that require some subjective judgement. Therefore, the need for subjective interpretation in itself should not be reason not to make a law.

    • felix 24.1

      Please define “law abiding citizens” in the context of a law which has outlawed their normal behaviour.

      Do you get it yet?

      • burt 24.1.1

        felix

        For some folk their normal behaviou is beating their kids. I think we need to draw a clearer line between what is acceptable under the law other than “their normal behaviour”.

        But otherwise – I agree with you.

  25. tsmithfield 25

    Felix “Please define “law abiding citizens’ in the context of a law which has outlawed their normal behaviour.

    Do you get it yet?”

    I think it is easier to define the behaviour of those who are breaking the law. Law-abiding citizens are by default the rest. Of course this requires some subjective judgement on the part of the police so that people behaving reasonably are not prosecuted.

    Perhaps you would like to answer my point about how subjective judgement is often required in many existing laws. If you accept this is the case, then could you please explain why there should not be subjective judgement allowed within the proposed law.

    • burt 25.1

      Are you saying the law of common sense should be used to iron out the ruffles in this overly broad lazyily drafted shambles of a law?

      • tsmithfield 25.1.1

        The law is still to go to select committee yet, so I expect there will be substantial clarity added to the law by the time it is finished. Also, an explanation of the intent and application of the law is included in the final law to guide its application.

        My point is that there is subjectivity in many laws, and subjectivity in the proposed one should not in itself be considered unusual or problematic. What is required from this point is to ensure that the law is well-written so that people who are behaving reasonably are not caught by it. This is the very reason that the law is going to select committee.

        The complaints of those who are pointing to funeral convoys etc being caught by it are just misguided and silly.

        • felix 25.1.1.1

          Making good law, like writing good contracts, is about eliminating all possible interpretations other than the one you intend.

          The degree to which this is achieved varies, but this is an important measure of what constitutes good, enforceable law.

          This example, the one you’re defending, fails miserably.

          You seem to be essentially arguing that seeing as we already have some loosely worded, poorly defined laws on the books, another one won’t matter.

          • Swampy 25.1.1.1.1

            Everyone knows that it is just about impossible to nail down a law without creating a huge process of legalese that is just about unintelligible.

            It is up to the courts to decide what the practical interpretation of the law actually is, this then becomes case law and if that doesn’t work out then Parliament can have another go.

        • Tigger 25.1.1.2

          tsmith – “What is required from this point is to ensure that the law is well-written so that people who are behaving reasonably are not caught by it. This is the very reason that the law is going to select committee.”

          Actually I thought the point of select committees was so the public had a chance to input into the law…you know, so laws aren’t ever rammed in under urgency for no reason in such a way to make a mockery of democracy… The current government would NEVER do something like that…

          Whoops.

  26. burt 26

    Perhaps all that is required is for people to write their full name and residential address on their cars. That would make them think twice about being so bloody lawless as to draw attention to themselves and the things they want to express.

  27. exbrethren 27

    I suspect this is just more attention seeking from Judith “Look at me” Collins. As Cosgrove has pointed out judges don’t use the powers given to them by Labour to confiscate vehicles now so they’re unlikely to use these new powers either.

    I find the defence of the rights of boy-racers / car-enthusiasts / dull-witted petrolheads a bit of a joke. A lot of these individuals impinge on the rights of others, for example by closing roads to others for their silly little races stopping others freedom of movement. There is no right to do this.

    Proper legislation would tackle third-party insurance and also dB levels, which should be not a subjective test but one that can be measured and if broken bye bye modded vehicle. I have no sympathy for a spotty little wanker who goes on about his right to cruise if he has an exhaust that ruins others lives.

    • felix 27.1

      There is no right to do this.

      Then draft a law that actually specifies those actions rather than just casting a massive net over everybody and expecting the police to sort out what you mean.

      • exbrethren 27.1.1

        I completely agree Felix. Collins / Cosgrove are only pretending to deal with the issue. The proper legislation would tackle issues in a clear cut way;

        1. No road closing for races
        2. No exhausts over a certain dB level. That would cut out the problems caused by cruising. Who cares if someone drives past repeatedly unless the vehicle is excessively noisy.

        etc etc.

        • felix 27.1.1.1

          Ditto. I have no problem with the intent of the bill, I’d just like to see it written properly so it can be enforced properly.

    • “I have no sympathy for a spotty little wanker who goes on about his right to cruise if he has an exhaust that ruins others lives.”

      Loud exhaust pipes, the new abortion since 2009!

      BAHAHAH, get a grip.

      • exbrethren 27.2.1

        So you’re equating juveniles being able to create excessive noise and abortion.

        You get a grip

        • You get a grip you moron, its a bloody exhaust pipe, I hate it when old people (like 65+) speak, I think there is nothing worse, they sound so patronising and stupid and never have anything of use to say, but do I think they should be banned from speaking, NO!

          Also note how you have to pack your comment with loaded terms in order to try and make a point?

          • exbrethren 27.2.1.1.1

            “Also note how you have to pack your comment with loaded terms in order to try and make a point?”

            You mentioned abortion. I was just pointing out that I didn’t believe that protecting the rights of certain kids to drive around towns noisily was as important as the right of women to get abortions.

            Why not go the whole Rankin and equate boy-racers as civil rights defenders on a par with Gandhi and Mandela?

    • Swampy 27.3

      As far as I can see in this thread we are just arguing about which law will work better than another. Truth is, no one knows which one will work the best. So I think the line saying one law is a better way than another is really subjective.

      There is nothing in the BOR that says any person has any right at all to drive their car on a public road. What do you say to that?

      As someone who thinks there is far too much traffic on the road I assert my right to peaceful roads, or however I might be able to interpret the BOR to protect my peaceful rights to whatever.

  28. serpico 28

    Boy racers are not the real problem for police at the moment.This is yet more grey area law but who cares in a country savaged by problematic youth. Go to the courthouse or over crowded prison carpark for a burn out session.What a sick country run by clueless idiots.

  29. tsmithfield 29

    Felix: “Then draft a law that actually specifies those actions rather than just casting a massive net over everybody and expecting the police to sort out what you mean.”

    Felix, you still have not answered my point about how subjective interpretation is inherent in many laws, and why it should not be included in this one.

    As I have already mentioned, the law is still to go to select committee for further refinement. Lawmakers also include guidelines for the intention of the law and how the law should be applied.

    When this proposed law becomes actual there is no way that funeral processions etc will be caught by it. To make such claims is just being mischevious and silly.

    • felix 29.1

      See above. It’s about eliminating all interpretations other than the one you intend.

      By your logic we should just do away with laws altogether and leave the police to decide who’s naughty and who’s nice.

  30. tsmithfield 30

    Felix “See above. It’s about eliminating all interpretations other than the one you intend.”

    No its not. If that was the case, there would be an almost infinite list of possible interpretations to exclude. What is required is a good definition of what constitutes the illegal behaviour, and guidelines from the lawmakers about how to interpret and apply the law. This is all part of the select committee and law-writing process.

    Let me ask you, do you seriously believe that the police will be prosecuting people in funeral processions once this law is enacted?

    • felix 30.1

      That’s exactly what a good definition does, it eliminates all possible other interpretations.

      You said “My point is that there is subjectivity in many laws, and subjectivity in the proposed one should not in itself be considered unusual or problematic.

      This is not a desirable attribute in any law. It is precisely what good law-making seeks to abolish.

      “do you seriously believe that the police will be prosecuting people in funeral processions once this law is enacted?”

      And this is the whole point: The police should never be given that decision to make.

      • Swampy 30.1.1

        So you’re saying police should not be able to act against a funeral procession if they are a nuisance to the safe flow of traffic on a road? What gives the people in the funeral procession the rights to impose their behaviour to the detriment of other road users?

        I think we have lost sight of the issue when we cannot acknowledge that our rights to drive our cars on the road – no matter how it is driven or whatever – is an imposition on other people regardless of situation. Fortunately the majority of other road users are quite tolerant and considerate.

        As someone who enjoys peace and quiet I cannot see what is being achieved by creating a scenario where everyone, apparently, has an absolute right to make this imposition, regardless of their vehicle or whether they are a boy racer or not. Our roads are getting choked up with traffic. There is huge debate about building new motorways yet people are not prepared to acknowledge that the need for these motorways is driven by the automatic assumption that everyone has an unimpeachable right to drive anywhere they want at any time on the roads.

        I suggest anyone who believes in such a thing take serious stock of the impacts on communities of vehicle noise and pollution among other things. Talk to anyone who lives near a busy road or motorway and has to put up with constant noise and fumes.

  31. rolla_fxgt 31

    Killinginthenameof -Out of interest what kind of FX GT have you got? I’ve got an AE82

    Mines an ae101, pretty much stock, just nolathane bushes in the back, and a cold air intake. I’m a student so the money for upgrades is pretty limited at present.

    exbrethren -No exhausts over a certain dB level. That would cut out the problems caused by cruising.

    The law already does this, no exhaust is allowed to be over 95db when tested at 1/2 revs (theres different formulas for different engine types, and placement), and is not allowed to be louder than would be standard for that vehicle. But here’s the kicker, a cop can just say your car is too loud, here’s a pink or green sticker, you’re off the road, go get it tested, which as I pointed out above is rather expensive, and most usually pass. Even if you have your exhaust certified by one of the official noise testers, the cops can say we don’t care, you’re off the road. Imagine if this was the case for drink driving, the cops could just arrest you for it with out a test, just because they believe you to be drunk. Doesn’t sound fair does it?

    So before you suggest the law is allowed to do these things, please also suggest that they have to do it properly, otherwise the law is no better than the idiots that drive around on cut springs, its done half ass.
    The cops need to be trained in the law (funny concept aye), and be given the tools to police it (a calibrated noise meter, a measuring tape, and a booklet with photo’s of how to set the test up, and what the allowed levels are for different types of cars. Oh yeah cause guess what, motorbikes, and busses as well as all heavy vehicles are excluded from any exhaust volume level, and Harley Davidsons regularly measure over 110db when tested, I’ve seen a test where one measured 150db, which I’m pretty sure is the level a jumbo on take off makes

    • Swampy 31.1

      OK, by talking in those terms, you’re a car enthusiast.

      Are you able to see outside the square, that a lot of people are not car enthusiasts and don’t share your interest.

      As far as I can see, car enthusiasts are tolerable as long as they don’t drive vehicles that have been modified to make more noise or some other impact upon the roads. I can see there is also a business community that seeks to make money out of promoting demand for car modifications.

      I think most people would be surprised to know if there is already a law for maximum vehicle noise, a complete surprise if that is the case and if it is then why couldn’t that be enforced up to now?

  32. tsmithfield 32

    Felix “That’s exactly what a good definition does, it eliminates all possible other interpretations.”

    But not in the way of defining every possible situation that does NOT break the law, which is what you seemed to be saying. Afterall, we don’t try to define every possible way a $10 note could be counterfeited. Rather, there is an accurate specification of what the $10 note comprises of. Anything other than that is a counterfeit. Same with a good law.

    Felix “This is not a desirable attribute in any law. It is precisely what good law-making seeks to abolish.”

    I agree. However, as much as it may not be desirable, subjectivity is never possible to eliminate entirely. The is often an element of discretion and interpretation no matter how good the law is. As I mentioned earlier, whether or not you have time to stop when the light goes orange is an example where the subjective opinioin of a police officer could be considered evidence of an offence. This is where the lawmakers can give guidance on how the law is to be interpreted and applied, which is what happens with a lot of laws.

    In any case, your criticisms are of a law that has not gone through the full process, so the criticisms are premature.

    I hope you make a submission under the select committee process, as this is a much more productive way of ensuring the law that comes out the other end is fair and enforceable.

    I too can see areas for improvement. In my view a major improvement to boy racer legislation would be to limit the horsepower of vehicles owned by those say under the age of 25. This would have a major impact on a lot of the boy racer problems and improve public safety.

    • felix 32.1

      We’re probably saying the same thing then as far as results go, you just have a backwards way of dealing with the logic of it. It’s not a case of defining every possible exception to an offense (which you were arguing for earlier but now seem to have reversed on), it’s a matter of defining the offense properly to begin with.

      Earlier you thought there would be no problem with the bill as it is, as the police could just make up their own minds what it meant. I take it you’ve revised your position on that too.

  33. burt 33

    felix

    I think a lot of people are quickly revising their position on the application of common sense to make crappy poorly drafted laws effective.

  34. Swampy 34

    Peaceful. Yes. Do you know that this is really about peace? It’s about the rights of ordinary people to have peace and quiet in their homes which they are being denied by these extremely noisy vehicles. The boy racer’s whole intention is to make noise to show they are in charge.

    Now, it gets to be a big issue when you live on a hill and have noisy unsilenced vehicles being driven up and down all day long, all because of some nonsense about the Bill of Rights.

    What you are claiming is that boy racers have the right to their antisocial obnoxious behaviour protected by the Bill of Rights and therefore the rights of ordinary people to have peace and quiet in their communities doesn’t count for anything. Seems to me this attitude is what has caused the situation in the first place.

    I think you fail to understand the widespread public anger against the activities of the boy racers. not only the antisocial aspects but also the criminal. You are defending the rights of boy racers to drive unsafe vehicles in a reckless manner on the roads. You are defending their rights to spend hours driving noisy vehicles round at all hours of the day and night disturbing people from getting their sleep. You are defending them congregating for burnouts, leaving tyre marks and diesel residue on the roads, along with masses of rubbish at the spots they congregate at.

    There are better ways of addressing these problems, most of these young idiots should have been addressed when they were at school instead of spilling out into the community. The problem being our education system now puts the rights of children ahead of the rights of the community and society, this is what happens when rights are not balanced by responsibilities and your post demonstrates the problems of that attitude.

    How about balancing your article with the responsibilities of boy racers to show courtesy to other road users, to the public at large, respect all the laws and drive vehicles that comply with all legal requirements and don’t cause a nuisance to other road users.

  35. Judge Dale 35

    Most of these young idiots are probably your children!

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