Police crack down on illegal car meets which treat ‘roads like racetracks’


Police in Essex are cracking down on illegal car meets, saying they will “never accept people treating roads like racetracks”.

Unauthorised car meets or car cruises – where drivers meet on the public highway or large public car parks to race or show their vehicles to others – have recently gained popularity, according to police.

As well as attracting hundreds of cars and large crowds of spectators, they create excessive amounts of noise and pose a danger to the public due to the speed of the vehicles and the lack of control drivers have.

Adam Pipe, head of Essex’s road and policing unit, said the events “won’t be tolerated” and robust action will be taken to prevent them from taking place.

“This is not a question of spoiling anyone’s fun, this is a very serious matter with potentially very serious consequences for spectators and drivers alike should there be a collision.”

Last year, three men aged 20, 22 and 23 were prosecuted after taking part in “drifting”.

Tyre tracks in car park after car meet. Pic: Essex Police

They were handed 20-week, 26-week and 23-week prison sentences respectively, all of which were suspended for one year.

They were also ordered to complete 150 hours unpaid work and pay almost £1,000 between them. All three were disqualified from driving for a year.

Tim Swain, a roads policing inspector, said the force will “never accept people treating our roads like racetracks”.

“We have nothing against genuine car enthusiasts who respect local residents when enjoying their shared passion for their cars,” he said.

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In the first four months of this year, 109 warnings for antisocial driving have been issued and 17 cars have been seized, the force said.

Officers can also use dispersal orders to tell anyone involved in anti-social behaviour to leave the designated area quietly, or risk being arrested.

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