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New measures proposed for crackdown on ‘boy racers’

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NEW measures to crackdown on Jersey’s ‘growing boy-racer’ culture by introducing mobile speed cameras and tougher penalties for breaching the speed limit by 30mph will be debated in the States.

Constable Chris Taylor

Reports of excessive speeding have increased in the Island recently, with police indicating that drivers have taken advantage of the quieter roads during lockdown, particularly at night.

Young drivers have been buying ‘stealth number plates’ which are difficult for speed cameras to pick up in order to avoid detection, while groups are reportedly sending out ‘feeder vehicles’ to check whether the police are carrying out checks on particular roads and sharing the information on social media.

Meanwhile, motorbike riders are also tilting their plates upwards so they cannot be detected by speed cameras or dash-cams.

In response, the States police, working with honorary officers and DVS, have launched Operation Canvas to crackdown on speeding drivers and those who make illegal modifications to their cars, such as making their exhausts noisier, lowering their suspension and tampering with their registration plates.

And now St John Constable Chris Taylor – who was this morning due to appear on trial in the Magistrate’s Court charged with dangerous driving – has lodged a proposition to help tackle the problem.

The Constable’s proposals, if approved by the States, would request Home Affairs Minister Len Norman to enable the honorary police to use vehicle-mounted mobile speed cameras, such as those used in the UK.

It also calls for ‘stricter sentences’ for any motorists who are found guilty of exceeding the speed limit by more than 30mph.

The report outlining his proposition says: ‘There is growing concern about speeding vehicles on our Island roads.

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‘Recently there has been a significant increase in “boy racers” driving at extreme speeds, usually during the hours of darkness.

‘When the police do set up speed checks, passing motorists warn oncoming vehicles by flashing their headlights. Within minutes of a speed check being set-up, the details are published on social media resulting in wasted police time and very few prosecutions.’

It adds: ‘The current methods of policing speeds are simply not working. They are resource-hungry and are not achieving the deterrent required to ensure motorists maintain due regard to speed limits.

‘It is pointless reducing speed limits on roads unless the new, lower limits can be policed. There has been a significant surge in public complaints about speeding motorists and it is our duty to ensure the police have the wherewithal to carry out their job and enforce the law.’

The proposition is due to be debated on 8 September.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
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