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Ground-breaking car cruising ban extended until 2021

 

 

A ground-breaking injunction banning car cruising in the Black Country has been extended for a further three years by the High Court today (Tuesday 9 January, 2018).

 

The injunction bans people from taking part in a car cruise anywhere within Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall, or from promoting, organising or publicising any such event in the four areas.

 

It has had a major impact since being introduced in 2015, leading to a significant reduction in car cruising in many parts of the Black Country, with the problem being eliminated entirely in some areas.

 

Some 17 people have also been convicted of breaching the injunction, either by participating in or organising a car cruise, and have received suspended prison sentences, been fined up to £1,000 and ordered to pay court costs.

 

However, there are still car cruising hotspots in the region with a number of fatalities linked to car cruising in recent years, and so the four Black Country boroughs, led by the City of Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands Police, were successful in seeking a continuation of the injunction until 1 February 2021 at the Birmingham District Registry of the High Court this morning.

 

His Honour Judge McKenna, sitting as a High Court judge, said: “The measures are reasonable and proportionate and I am content to extend the order for another three years.”

 

Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "Car cruising is noisy, dangerous and illegal, causing damage to property and posing a risk of injury or worse to participants and the general public alike. It also takes up a lot of valuable time for our hard-pressed emergency services.

 

“Since its introduction in 2015, the injunction has helped to dramatically reduce the menace of car cruising across the Black Country, eliminating it altogether in certain areas.

 

“However, the problem has not been entirely eradicated; car cruises are still being held in our region, sometimes with fatal consequences.

 

“We are therefore pleased that the High Court has extended the injunction for a further three years, enabling the police and local councils to continue to crackdown on car cruising and to bring perpetrators to book.”

 
PC Stuart Hemming from West Midlands Police said: “We will continue to work with councils in the Black Country to eradicate this anti-social and dangerous behaviour and make our boroughs safer places to live, work and socialise."

 

The injunction prohibits activities typically associated with car cruising, including speeding, racing and driving in convoy, performing stunts and causing an obstruction on a public highway.

 

It also prohibits consequences associated with car cruising, including excessive noise, danger or risk of injury to other road users and pedestrians, damage or risk of damage to property and significant risk of harm, public nuisance and annoyance to the public.

 

Anyone breaching the injunction risks of being in contempt of court, for which they can face up to two years in prison and a fine. The authorities can also seize assets such as vehicles. In addition, police retain their powers in relation to traffic offences including driving without insurance, driving an unroadworthy vehicle and driving without due care and attention.

 

For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/carcruisingban.

 

Incidents of car cruising should be reported to West Midlands Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors:

 

1/ For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Paul Brown, Communications Advisor, on 01902 555497 or email paul.brown@wolverhampton.gov.uk.

 

2/ The injunction defines car cruising as two or more motor vehicles (including motorbikes) between the hours of 3pm and 7am being on a highway or in a publicly accessible place within the Black Country at which any such vehicle or occupant of a vehicle performs any of the prohibited activities listed below which causes, or is capable of causing, any of the prohibited consequences set out in below. Participating in car cruising means being the driver of, or being carried in (or on), a motor vehicle (including motorbikes) in circumstances in which the above applies.

 

3/ The prohibited activities referred to above are:

  • Speeding

  • driving in convoy

  • racing

  • performing stunts

  • sounding horns or playing music as to cause a significant public nuisance

  • using foul or abusive language

  • using threatening, intimidating behaviour towards another person

  • causing obstruction on a public highway, whether moving or stationary.

 

4/ The prohibited consequences referred to above are:

  • excessive noise

  • danger or risk of injury to road users, including pedestrians

  • damage or significant risk of damage to property

  • significant risk of harm

  • significant public nuisance

  • significant annoyance to the public.

 

5/ Since the Black Country injunction was brought in, injunctions have been introduced in other parts of the West Midlands, including Birmingham and Solihull.

 

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