A bylaw that aims to reduce dangerous and antisocial behaviour on Christchurch roads is up for review by Christchurch city Council this week.
The Cruising and Prohibited Times on Roads Bylaw was first introduced by the Council in 2010, with the current bylaw adopted in 2014.
A draft bylaw which includes proposed updates and changes will be presented at the 21 June Council meeting.
Transport Operations Manager, Stephen Wright says the bylaw regulates two activities related to antisocial road user behaviour – cruising and prohibited times on roads – and complements other enforcement powers that the police have.
“This bylaw is a useful tool to support efforts to make roads safer for everyone,” says Mr Wright.
If approved by councillors, the draft replacement bylaw will go out for public feedback in late June.
“The bylaw focuses specifically on creating no-cruising zones in the city, and on restricting access times for some roads in rural or industrial areas where there is a history of antisocial behaviour,” says Mr Wright.
Under the current bylaw, there are 82 roads (or parts of roads) with prohibited times on roads in place. The restrictions apply at night, typically from 10pm until 5am.
“We’re proposing to add 16 new roads in Hornby, Sockburn and near the airport to the prohibited times on roads register. These roads have been identified by police and the community as areas where antisocial activities are occurring at night, causing damage to roads, concern in the community and increasing the potential for harm,” says Mr Wright.
“The kinds of roads that are considered for the register are secluded areas with a history of people gathering to race or do burnouts. Roads in residential areas, arterial roads or roads commonly used for legitimate reasons at night would not be considered for inclusion in the register.”
He said the Council is not proposing to add any additional roads to the no-cruising register, which currently includes 50 multi-laned roads (or parts of roads) in the central city.
Under the current bylaw, drivers who break the rules can be issued with an infringement fine of $150 for cruising or $750 for driving on a road when it is prohibited.
Other proposed changes to the replacement bylaw include clarifying that the bylaw is a ‘qualifying bylaw’ by definition under the Land Transport Act 1998, which means that warning notices can be issued for a breach of the bylaw, and that a further breach can result in a vehicle being seized and impounded by police.
“This move will support the police to take action and deter disruptive and dangerous activity on our roads,” says Mr Wright.
The Council will consider public feedback once consultation is complete, and a final replacement bylaw will be considered for adoption later in the year.