New panel set up to hear residents’ concerns on hoon behaviour
Docklands residents fed-up with hoon behaviour in their neighbourhood will be able to voice their concerns through a new state government-led panel.
A Hooning Community Reference Group has been established to identify potential short-, medium-, and long-term solutions to address hoon behaviour in local communities.
It will bring together community and stakeholders with experts in road safety across government, enforcement, and research bodies to develop a new Victorian Hoon Driving Action Plan.
To support the initiative, a community online session covering the inner Melbourne region will be hosted by the City of Melbourne on August 4.
The reference group has been launched after the state government conceded there had been an increase in reckless driving behaviour during the pandemic, which has continued into 2022.
Hoon behaviour has been a long-standing concern for Docklands residents.
Toni, a resident who asked not to use her surname, said hooning was “absolutely horrendous” in Yarra’s Edge with a lack of strong police presence.
“It’s a major concern, and in the past few weeks it’s got completely out of hand,” she told Docklands News.
“Somebody could just walk out their door and they would be killed. It’s mad behaviour.”
Toni said she stopped having visitors over as she could hear cars revving from her 18th-floor apartment which had double-glazed windows.
“You’re not talking about 20 or 30 cars. The numbers are growing. They need to do something because this has been going on of too long.”
Keith Sutherland of Yarra’s Edge said hoon driving was an ongoing concern and hoped the Hooning Community Reference Group would “come up with some answers and help solve this age-old problem”.
“Sadly a few idiots spoil it for many even after several measures have been put into place around Point Park with speed humps, cameras, and increased police controls,” he said.
Mr Sutherland said there were also cars doing “extreme speeds” along Lorimer St near the Montague St intersection “which really is an accident waiting to happen”.
A 28-year-old man tragically died after his motorcycle crashed into a car on Lorimer St on November 19 last year.
“It obviously is a problem for police to be at the right place at the right time and hooning is just one of the many things police have to contend with,” Mr Sutherland said.
Another resident, who asked to remain anonymous, said they believed hooning had “quietened down” but “it doesn’t mean it’s better”.
“There’s not the same number of cars,” however “you can see all the evidence all over the roads, so it still goes on but not to the same extent.”
A Docklands Representative Group spokesperson said hoon behaviour continued to be of “ongoing and grave concern”.
Late last year, the City of Melbourne installed road humps and created a no stopping zone on Point Park Crescent. They also erected fencing around the park to discourage vehicles from illegally parking, with safety cameras also having been installed.
The Department of Transport (DoT) spokesperson said all hoon-drivers were being put on notice considering the new reference group.
“Reckless driving can have devastating consequences for communities. In addition to having some of the strongest anti-hooning driving laws in the country, Victoria is looking for ways to further reduce hoon behaviour to improve safety for everyone on our roads,” the spokesperson said.
“As part of the work of our newly formed Hooning Community Reference Group, we’re looking forward to hearing directly from local communities through online forums to better understand their concerns and identify potential ways to improve road safety.”
Current penalties for hoons include on-the-spot license suspensions for excessive speeding (45km/h or more over the speed limit) as well as potential impoundment and permanent vehicle confiscation.
Community members can visit the DoT online to register their attendance at an event: transport.vic.gov.au/getting-around/roads/safer-roads-in-our-hands