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 received 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, around 35 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 punishments ranging from prison sentences and suspended sentences to fines of up to £2,000, as well as being 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.
Under the terms of the injunction:
- 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.
- 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.
- A power of arrest pursuant to section 27 Police and Criminal Justice Act 2006 shall apply to clause 1 above.
- 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.
- Personal service of this injunction is dispensed with pursuant to rule 81.8 of the Civil Procedure Rules.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Man admits breaching High Court car cruising injunction (published 11 April, 2019)
- Court hears evidence of impact of car cruising ban (published 22 February, 2019)
- Two more fall foul of Black Country-wide car cruising ban (published 22 January, 2019)
- Witness praises injunction as more car cruisers are caught (published 10 December, 2018)
- Five sentenced for breaching car cruising injunction (published 26 November, 2018)
- Five admit breaching Black Country car cruising injunction (published 07 September, 2018)
- Group admit breaching High Court car cruising injunction (published 01 June, 2018)
- Extended Black Country-wide car cruising ban now in force (published 07 February, 2018)
- Councillor welcomes police crackdown on street racers (published 17 January, 2018)
- Ground breaking car cruising ban extended until 2021 (published 09 January, 2018)
- Authorities seek continuation of Black Country car cruise ban (published 28 December, 2017)
- Organisers of planned car cruise hit with fines by High Court (published 05 June, 2017)
- Public urged to report car cruisers as crackdown continues (published 04 May, 2016)
- Street racers warned they could lose car, job or liberty (published 21 April, 2016)
- High Court puts brakes on more Black Country car cruisers (published 14 April, 2016)
- Ground breaking car cruise ban continued by High Court (published 08 March, 2016)
- Driver and passenger convicted of breaching car cruise ban (published 08 January, 2016)
- Council welcomes first car cruising conviction (published 12 August, 2015)
- Brakes put on as injunction bans car cruising in Black Country (published 19 December, 2014)