Police ask public to dob in hoon motorists

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Margaret River Police are actively hunting local hoon drivers.
Camera IconMargaret River Police are actively hunting local hoon drivers. Credit: WA Police

Motorists using local roads as de facto race tracks are on notice, with Margaret River police asking residents to dob in hoon drivers.

Police have attended a number of incidents in recent weeks involving hooning, and emergency services crews have also warned about speeding motorists not obeying safety regulations around crash scenes.

Margaret River police officer-in-charge Luke Fowler told the Times hoons needed to stop before someone was seriously injured or killed.

“Hoon behaviour is not isolated to Margaret River, but we have noticed the burnouts on the roads and an increase in reported off-road motorbikes in and around town,” he said.

“Motor vehicles operated in a dangerous manner not only put the driver’s life at risk, but also the lives of pedestrians and other road users.

“There is a flow-on effect to the volunteer emergency services who have to respond when dangerous driving leads to traffic crashes.

“There is no excuse for it.”

Residents have complained of an increase in hoon drivers with the opening of the Margaret River perimeter road.

Sgt Fowler said the bypass was only one of the areas where hoons were operating. Nearby resident Eli Urquhart took to social media saying hooning was affecting people in Riverslea.

“Now we have our own speedway drag strip on the east side of town,” he said.

“(It) gets pretty hectic down that strip at the moment.

“I have three kids, mate, and there’s a lot of other groms around, and if anything happens to those kids there’s going to be a s... fight of anger.”

Trail bike riders using the strip after midnight also featured in complaints.

Other residents told the Times more acoustic mitigation was needed for the bypass.

Main Roads WA said it had “not received any direct feedback about alleged hooning”, but it was a matter for WA Police.

Sgt Fowler said officers shared community frustration with hoon behaviour.

“We would like to hear from community members who have witnessed hoon behaviour in and around Margaret River,” he said.

Although reports could be made online, police wanted to hear about hooning when the incidents were under way, he said.

Police would use unmarked cars and all available resources to target hoons.

Sgt Fowler also encouraged residents to submit dash cam, mobile phone, or home security footage as evidence against repeat offenders.

“If these people are living on your street and you’ve had enough, we’d be keen to hear from you,” Sgt Fowler said.

“There are plenty of legal places for people to ride their off-road motorbikes and events where you can perform legal burnouts whilst getting cheered on to do it.”

Burnouts gratified the driver, but left neighbours unimpressed, he said.

“Have some thought for your neighbours,” Sgt Fowler said.

“It’s just about having a bit of respect for others in this community and looking out for one another.”

Contact Margaret River Police on 9757 2222 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

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