The crushing of confiscated cars could encourage boy racers to offend further, an anti-street racing campaigner says.
Police Minister Anne Tolley set an example for illegal street racers yesterday by crushing the first car confiscated under legislation passed nearly three years ago.
Jonathan Gillard from Christchurch-based group Noise Off told TV ONE's Breakfast this morning the law needs to go further to curb boy racing, and crushing cars could act as a "red rag to a bull".
Gillard said offenders get their cars confiscated and parts are auctioned off on a second offence. On a third offence, it is only discretionary whether their car was crushed.
"They are going to go out and buy another car, it's going to be a cheapy. Do they really care that it's going to be crushed? I don't think so."
Tolley said yesterday the threat of crushing cars has resulted in a 26.9% drop in street racing offences in 2010 and 2011.
"It's a pretty graphic sort of consequence. If you're a car lover that's pretty devastating," Tolley said.
However, Gillard said there should be laws to prevent street racing, rather than punishment after the offending has taken place, such as restricting noise levels.
"If you look at any boy racer car, what's hanging off the back is a great big exhaust. It's their badge of honour."
Gillard said the Government has not given police proper tools to monitor exhaust sizes, saying boy racers actually have an exception to allow for bigger exhausts.
"[The law] says the exhaust can't be more than 95 decibels. That's the same noise as a motor mower at full speed."
Gillard likened boy racers driving at night to a next door neighbour mowing their lawns at night, which he noted was illegal.
"You can make the same noise with a motor vehicle and there's nothing the police or council can do as this car drives up and down the road."
Gillard said boy racers should be subject to the same rules "to the rest of us".