Chris and Bonnie Fabish with neighbour John Scowan on Maitland Ave where burn outs have them concerned over the safety of residents on the street. Photo: Andrew Board.

Boy racers ‘need to be stopped’


Residents of a Stoke neighbourhood fear it’s just a matter of time until someone is killed by a speeding car on their street.

At around 10pm last Wednesday night, a car driving from Main Rd Stoke turned onto Maitland Ave and did a burn out stretching almost 100 metres. It weaved over both sides of the road, woke up residents and is the final straw for many of them, demanding the police do something to stop the behaviour.

Home owner Bonnie Fabish says there have been several burn outs in the street over the past few weeks but speeding cars have been a problem for several years.

“I’m scared because there are loads of kids and oldies out here. We’ve been calling the police for three years but it gets to the stage where you say ‘what’s the point?’”

John Scowan says Wednesday’s incident woke him up and by the time he ran onto the street other neighbours were already there and furious. “One neighbour got his number plate and we jumped in the van to go find them. We saw the car parked around the corner but the police didn’t come around.”

He says the neighbour tried to call the Nelson police station but after there was no answer, John rang 111 where he was told it was unlikely they’d send anyone around.

Chris Fabish says he has followed one of the speeding cars in the past and told them to slow down but fears if nothing is done other neighbours will go looking to solve the problem themselves. “When no one does anything, that’s when you get the vigilante groups and get confrontations. It’s sad we’re starting to think like that.”

Another neighbour Anne, who didn’t want her surname printed, says she’s been scared that someone will be killed for a number of years. “They weave all over the road and are totally out of control. Someone will be killed here one day and it will be too late to do something after that.”

The residents say they either want more of a police presence on the street to catch the speeding cars or judder bars installed to slow the speeding cars down. Police area commander Steve Greally says he’s had a lot of feedback since his column in Nelson Weekly last week, which focussed on boy racers. “I am very happy that members of the community are letting us know where and when these incidents are taking place. Police are committed to preventing this type of activity.”