Street racers risk lives
By ALLAN McNEILallanm@gladstoneobserver.com.au
JAMES Wragg believes it is only a matter of time before someone is killed on Gladstone streets because of drivers drag racing.
The Roseberry Street resident (right) constantly watches as "hotted-up" cars race each other down his street, pushing the limits of sense and safety.
"I've seen it get pretty dangerous at times,'' he said. "They actually get side by side and fly down and then slam on the brakes at the corner.
"If they keep doing it they're going to end up killing themselves or someone else.''
One of Mr Wragg's neighbours, Paul Glover, and other Roseberry Street residents agreed, but felt there was little that could be done about it.
One elderly resident who didn't want to be named said they had learnt to accept it, particularly on Thursday nights.
"We've been told Thursdays is hoons' night, so it will happen again tonight (last night), so once again we won't get any sleep,'' they said.
It seems Roseberry is not the only street that has been adopted by the region's rev heads.
Gladstone Police Senior Sergeant Leigh Burt said there was a culture in Gladstone that meant Thursday nights had become "hoons' night'' all over the city.
"We have actually started targetting the waterfront area because they get down there and like to show off their cars,'' he said.
Snr Sgt Burt added that while the problem of street racing was no bigger in Gladstone than other areas, it did carry very serious consequences.
One such consequence for those caught is car impoundment. There were 24 cars impounded in the region in the 12 months to November last year.
"We can't be everywhere at once, but I can assure them (residents) that if these people are committing a serious offence we will get them,'' he said.
Snr Sgt Burt said that while residents were willing to call the police about hoons on the streets, few would back it up by giving a statement.
"We need the public to support us and get a registration number and come along to court and give a statement,'' he said.
"You can either do nothing and hence condone it, or you can actually do something about it.