Four vehicles have been impounded by police following the second phase of a police operation targeting street racing and anti-social behaviour on roads across the Waikato district.
The vehicles were impounded for sustained lack of traction offences, or burnouts, after 10 search warrants were carried out at 5am, Waikato road policing manager Inspector Jeff Penno said today in a statement.
Police also released video of one of the cars performing burnouts to illustrate some of the bad behaviour.
It comes as two vehicles were impounded earlier this week as part of Operation Shadow, beginning in June 2019, targeting illegal street racing around the Waikato.
Among the vehicles impounded this morning was a Mazda Atenza with tyres "so frayed the steel threads were showing", Penno said.
Police launched a 12-week enforcement operation in March in response to multiple concerning incidents involving car enthusiasts undertaking "reckless and dangerous behaviour". Five vehicles were seized as part of the first phase of the operation.
"As part of the operation, police gathered, assessed and investigated evidence from driving complaints made by members of the public, resulting in gaining 11 warrants," he said.
"Owners were also given an order to provide identification of the person driving at the time of the alleged incident."
Penno said while police "don't have anything against car enthusiasts", "if you’re going to use your vehicle to put other members of the public in danger or cause thousands of dollars of damage to the roads – police will step in and take that vehicle away from you".
He said Operation Shadow sends a message to those involved in illegal street racing as well as the public.
“The aim is to disrupt and deter those committing these offences, and ensure our roads are safe for every member of the community using them.”
Police in the Waikato receive on average between 40 and 50 driving complaints from members of the public, primarily on Friday and Saturday evenings. The majority of the complaints are related to people doing burnouts.
“This is high risk behaviour that is not tolerated by the community and we want to assure the public we will hold the offenders involved to account."
Anyone who witnesses any dangerous driving behaviour has been advised to report it to police by calling 111 if it is currently occurring, 105 if the report is being made following the incident, or anonymously through CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.