POLICE in Ballymoney are prepared to offer an amesty to drivers of souped-up and modified cars if they present their vehicles at what could be described as a scrutiny evening in the town on Wednesday, September 28.
The intiative has been prompted following a number of complaints about noise from modified cars causing problem in the Borough in recent months.
The Times has learned that the old Agivey bacon factory is one area where so-called ‘boy racers’ congregate and, according to our sources, the noise is going on well into the night.
One caller told us: “If these young people at least had the wit to take their vehicles out early, instead they are donutting and racing around into the late hours. It’s very annoying.”
The event is being held at Biestys premises on the Portrush Road and will last from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Anyone with a modified vehicle who wants to check its legality is encouraged to come along and have an expert run their eye over it.
PSNI officer, Ricky Black, who is helping organise the event, stressed there would be no prosecutions if any vehicle was found to be illegal.
“That is not the point of the exercise,” Constable Black told the Times. “We are not out to prosecute anyone at this stage. The event is two-fold in that it will give the driver an indication of the legality of the vehicle as well as a warning that there will be enforcement, if necessary, in the future.
Experts will be checking on such things as noisy exhausts and generally how well the car has been adapted.
The initiative is being supported by the Causeway Cruisers who are involved in the education of young drivers as well as showing them how to adapt their vehicles safely and legally.
A noise abatement officer from the Borough Council will offer a free test and a Road Safety officer from the Roads Policing will also be present to offer general education.
It is also hoped to have a Driver and Vehicle Testing Agency representative present to give advice on modified vehicles.
Police are hoping to issue some sort of written confirmation of the cars’ road worthiness.
Councillor Bill Kennedy said praised the initiative of the PSNI and felt it would prove very useful.
He encouraged young drivers with modified vehicles to take advantage of what was a valuable information evening with no risk of prosecution.
“I think the police should be commended on this one and I hope it is well supported,” he said.
More information is expected next week on the event which will take place in the car park at Biestys.
Police in the Moyle area carried out a similar operation sometime ago at the town’s police station.
A number of vehicles were directed towards a testing area and some were found to be unfit for driving on the road.
Some vehicles were seized and some drivers were given a warning.
Ballycastle has witnessed the problem of boy racers for sometime and police keep a close eye on the conduct of young drivers.
Cushendall is another area where young drivers have caused no end of problems with the issue being discussed frequently at meetings of Moyle District Policing Partnership.