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Car cruising injunction

A ground-breaking injunction has been secured in Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall, forbidding people from participating in a "car cruise" anywhere within the four boroughs, or to promote, organise or publicise any car cruising event within the same Black Country area.

Car cruising - the act of drivers meeting on the public highway on either an organised or impromptu basis to race or show off in their cars - is noisy, dangerous and illegal.

Gatherings have been known to attract up to 250 vehicles and spectators, with councils and West Midlands Police receiving hundreds of complaints over the last few years about vehicles and spectators obstructing highways or residential or business properties, dangerous driving, excessive noise, littering, verbal abuse, swearing and intimidation.

Anyone who witnesses a car cruise on the public highway or publically accessible place is asked to call police on 101.

Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall councils, working in partnership with West Midlands Police, secured the injunction from the High Court in Birmingham on 1 December, 2014. The life of the injunction was extended to 1 February 2021 by the High Court at a hearing on 9 January 2018.

Served against "persons unknown", it prohibits a number of activities typically associated with car cruising, including speeding, racing and driving in convoy, performing stunts, sounding horns or playing music as to cause a significant public nuisance, using foul or abusive language and threatening, intimidating behaviour and causing an obstruction on a public highway, whether moving or stationary.

It also prohibits a number of consequences associated with car cruising, including excessive noise, danger or risk of injury to road users and pedestrians, damage or risk of damage to property and significant risk of harm, public nuisance and annoyance to the public.

Anyone suspected of breaching the injunction will be at risk of being in contempt of court, for which an adult can face up to two years in prison and a fine. In addition, police retain their powers in relation to traffic offences including driving without insurance, driving an unroadworthy vehicle and driving without due care and attention.

Since it came into force, 17 people have been found in breach of the injunction by the High Court, either by participating in or organising a car cruise, and have received suspended prison sentences, been fined up to £1,000 and ordered to pay court costs. Furthermore, the authorities can now also seize - and crush - assets such as vehicles.The full terms of the injunction are available by clicking the PDF below. Also available for download is a map of the area to be enforced.

The Injunction

Under the terms of the injunction:

  1. It is forbidden for anyone to participate in "car cruising" (as defined in the Schedule below) anywhere within the Claimants' combined geographical area known locally as the Black Country Area.
  2. It is also forbidden for anyone to promote, organise, or publicise via e-mail, the internet or any publication or broadcast, any "car cruising" within the defined geographical area.
  3. A power of arrest pursuant to section 27 Police and Criminal Justice Act 2006 shall apply to clause 1 above.
  4. The order and power of arrest shall continue in force for a further 3 years following the commencement of this order or until it is varied or discharged by the court. This extension of the duration of the order shall come into effect at midnight on 2 February 2018 (when the order as originally granted ceases to be in force) provided that the Claimants have completed certain steps. It shall, subject to further order, expire at midnight 1 February 2021.
  5. Personal service of this injunction is dispensed with pursuant to rule 81.8 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

Schedule

  1. The injunction defines car cruising as two or more motor vehicles (including motorbikes) between the hours of 3pm and 7am being on a highway or in a publicly accessible place within the Black Country Area at which any such vehicle or occupant of a vehicle performs any of the prohibited activities listed in clause 3 below which causes, or is capable of causing, any of the prohibited consequences set out in clause 4 below.
  2. Participating in car cruising means being the driver of, or being carried in (or on), a motor vehicle (including motorbikes) in circumstances in which clause 1 (above) applies.
  3. The prohibited activities referred to in clause 1 above are: speeding; driving in convoy; racing; performing stunts; sounding horns or playing music as to cause a nuisance; using foul or abusive language; using threatening, intimidating behaviour towards another person; and causing obstruction on a public highway, whether moving or stationary.
  4. The prohibited consequences referred to in clause 1 above are: excessive noise; danger or risk of injury to road users, including pedestrians; damage or significant risk of damage to property; risk of harm; nuisance; and annoyance.
     

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