Car cruising injunction
A High Court hearing about an application by the four Black Country councils to extend the injunction banning car cruising in the region has been adjourned until 28 April 2021.
The court, sitting virtually because of the Covid-19 pandemic in January 2021, was unable to grant the application at this time because of a case currently being heard in the High Court in London relating to a number of injunctions which, similar to the car cruising injunction, are issued against 'persons unknown'.
While the application to extend the Black Country injunction for a further three years remains live, the injunction itself will lapse, at least temporarily, on Monday 1 February 2021.
In the meantime, people are reminded that the act of car cruising is in contravention of the legislation currently in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) – particularly the rules around non-essential travel and meeting in public.
It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of the same household or support bubble and people must not leave home except for specific reasons.
Incidents of car cruising should be reported to West Midlands Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.
Car cruising injunction – background and history
Sandwell, Wolverhampton, Dudley and Walsall councils, together with West Midlands Police, previously secured an extension to the ground-breaking 'car cruising' injunction order in January 2018, confirmed at a review hearing in February 2019.
The order forbids people from taking part in a 'car cruise' anywhere in the four boroughs, or to promote, organise or publicise any car cruising event in the area. The order also applies to motorbike-related nuisance.
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.
The High Court order has had a major impact since being introduced in 2015, leading to a significant reduction in car cruising in many parts of the Black Country, with the problem being eliminated entirely in some areas.
A number of people have also been convicted of breaching the injunction, either by participating in or organising a car cruise. Anyone convicted faces jail, a fine or seizure of assets.
However, there are still car cruising hotspots in the region with a number of fatalities linked to car cruising in recent years, so the four councils and police returned to the High Court in January 2018 to successfully secure an extension to the order. This extension was confirmed at a review hearing in February 2019.
People are worried about vehicles and spectators blocking highways and homes or businesses, dangerous driving, excessive noise, littering, verbal abuse, swearing and intimidation.
The order bans a number of activities typically associated with car cruising, including:
- racing and driving in convoy;
- performing stunts;
- sounding horns or playing music, causing a significant public nuisance;
- using foul or abusive language and threatening, intimidating behaviour; and
- causing an obstruction on a public highway.
It also bans a number of things 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.
If you witnesses car cruising on the public highway or a publicly-accessible place, please call police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.
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, a fine or seizure of assets.
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.
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