Hoon horror

Tyre tracks on Fox Road - a mark of hoon drivers in the area.

By Danielle Kutchel

Residents of Fox Road in Narre Warren North are fed up with hoons using their street as their own personal race track.

The residents, who wished to remain anonymous out of fear for their safety, say hoons regularly tear up and down Fox Road and adjoining side streets, doing burnouts and donuts at all hours of the night.

Things came to a head on Saturday 2 January, when one resident ran outside their house to see if they could catch the number plate of the latest reckless visitor.

The driver confronted the resident and hurled abuse.

“He was just abusing me, telling me to mind my own business,” the resident said.

“He was so aggressive and so angry.

“And then, he spat on me.”

The driver took off, but came back later in the night and engaged in more intimidating driving outside the resident’s house.

The confrontation has left the resident shaken and concerned.

“It’s the noise and uneasiness, knowing we’ve got these idiots around,” another member of the family said.

The family now sleeps with all outside lights on and are looking at installing cameras.

Multiple residents told Star News they are worried that one day the hoons might cause an accident – either coming off the road and smashing into someone’s house, or perhaps hitting an unsuspecting car or child.

Others reported drug deals taking place in the car park of the local oval, but it’s unclear whether this is directly related to the hoons.

Residents said the hooning had been reported to police and the council, but that nothing had been done.

For years, they said, there had been talk of, and even a council survey about, installing speed traps along the roads – “but nothing’s come of that”.

“We have just given up but the situation is now becoming dangerous, especially if he thinks it is OK to drive at a person, spit on them and abuse them with foul language,” the resident said.

“We deserve to feel safe in our environment and at the moment we are not.”

Meanwhile, they said police are unable to attend the scene quickly enough to catch the offenders in the act.

“I’m wondering whether they’d put in surveillance cameras,” a resident said, “I don’t know how else they’re going to do it.”

A Victoria Police spokesperson said police had noticed an increase in “high-risk driving activity” in the Greater Dandenong area including “pockets of Narre Warren”.

“As part of Operation Sumatra, police will be targeting hot spot locations and deploying mobile CCTV cameras in an effort to detect and deter this behaviour,” the spokesperson said.

“The mobile CCTV cameras have automated number plate recognition technology and also give police the ability to monitor areas of interest in real time.

“This is in addition to our highly visible proactive patrols conducted by Highway Patrol and general duties officers.”

The spokesperson warned residents not to confront the offenders, but instead urged them to contact Triple Zero if they are faced with criminal activity or anti-social behaviour.

“Anyone with information on drug dealing, hoon or poor driver behaviour activity is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 00 or submit a confidential report online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au,” the spokesperson said.

Acting manager city and asset planning at the City of Casey, Joanne Noesgaard, said the council only had a record of one request from a local resident asking for traffic management devices on Fox Road.

The request was sent in 2015.

“Fox Road has been assessed in Council’s Local Area Traffic Management Program though annual reviews, however at this time it does not meet the minimum intervention levels for a traffic management scheme to be considered,” she said.

“According to the most recent traffic survey conducted in May 2019, approximately 2,500 vehicles use Fox Road daily and the vast majority are travelling within the 60km/h speed limit.

“Council has also reviewed the Victorian Government’s road crash statistics database and confirmed that in the 5-year period to 30 June 2020 there has been one reported minor injury collision on Fox Road. This was a single vehicle accident attributed to inappropriate driver behaviour.”

Ms Noesgaard said the council would be happy to meet with local residents to discuss the issue.