New panel set up to hear residents’ concerns on hoon behaviour

Brendan Rees

Carlton residents fed-up with hoon behaviour in their neighbourhood will be able to voice their concerns through a new state government-led panel.

A Hooning Community Reference Group has been established to identify potential short-, medium-, and long-term solutions to address hoon behaviour in local communities.

It will bring together community and stakeholders with experts in road safety across government, enforcement, and research bodies to develop a new Victorian Hoon Driving Action Plan.

To support the initiative, a community online session covering the inner Melbourne region will be hosted by the City of Melbourne on August 4.

The reference group has been launched after the state government conceded there had been an increase in reckless driving behaviour during the pandemic, which has continued into 2022.

Hoon behaviour has been a long-standing concern for Carlton residents, particularly along Lygon St.

Residents told Inner City News that the behaviour was impacting their quality of life as cars tore up and down the neighbourhood at all hours of the night.

“It’s very unsettling,” one resident said, adding “it’s very unpredictable and it creates a lot of anxiety.”

“It’s a disturbance in the area. They burn up and down the street and you can hear them doing wheelies at the intersection of Queensberry and Lygon streets.”

Another resident, said, “We hope they [police] can do something about it but we find or hear little evidence that anything has really changed.”

Another resident believed, “It’s not speed, the problem is making noise. Many of them are deliberating backfiring.”

Carlton Inc. Traders’ Association said it endorsed safe roads and would encourage the TAC to get involved in the precinct to promote safe driving.

“Over the generations Carlton developed an automotive DNA with vehicles worth hundreds of thousands and in some instances millions of dollars visiting Carlton as a destination, we should be embracing this in educating drivers with strong educational messages from the TAC and VicPol,” the association’s executive officer Phillip Mansour said.

The Department of Transport (DoT) spokesperson said all hoon drivers were being put on notice with the new reference group in action.

“Reckless driving can have devastating consequences for communities. In addition to having some of the strongest anti-hooning driving laws in the country, Victoria is looking for ways to further reduce hoon behaviour to improve safety for everyone on our roads,” the spokesperson said.

“As part of the work of our newly formed Hooning Community Reference Group, we’re looking forward to hearing directly from local communities through online forums to better understand their concerns and identify potential ways to improve road safety.” •

Community members can visit the DoT online to register their attendance at an event: transport.vic.gov.au/getting-around/roads/safer-roads-in-our-hands 

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