Residents in central Wagga have continued to raise concerns about the street-racing and hooning activities in and around the central precinct.
Car enthusiast Paul Seaman said he had seen some motorists doing “crazy stupid speeds”.
“Sometimes you hear loud cars going fast along Fitzmaurice Street in the late evening and early hours of the morning,” Mr Seaman said.
“It’s amazing no one has been killed.”
Asked what other solutions he would like to see in addition to policing, Mr Seaman said there was a need for a burnout pad in the LGA.
“Instead of tearing up roads in Forest Hill, drivers can take their cars there and do burnouts and smoke their tyres – legally,” he said.
“It would also be a good PR exercise for the police and for them to build relationships with the drivers.”
Mr Seaman said he would like to see the new Wagga state member commit to this issue.
“Whoever that may be, they need to put their hands up and help us get one,” he said.
“Also, council has approved millions of dollars for a pushbike project – why not a burnout pad for blokes to go and let off steam?”
Instead of tearing up roads in Forest Hill, drivers can take their cars there and do burnouts and smoke their tyres – legally.Paul Seaman, resident
Similarly, another resident in central, who did not want to be named, said the issue has become more common in the past 6–12 months.
“This also includes north Wagga and the back road out to Estella and back down passed Tolland,” he said.
“They race and speed...through central almost every night between 9pm to about 2am.
He said he has reported the matter, which includes number plates, about 10 times to the Wagga Police Station in the past six months.
“I’ve been complaining about this for a long time, but police say it’s not a priority and that they’ve got to catch them [drivers] in the act,” he said.
“They say ‘our main priorities are break and enters, assaults and car thefts.
I’ve been complaining about this for a long time, but police say it’s not a priority and that they’ve got to catch them [drivers] in the act.Wagga resident
He said there were about 10 vehicles – including a high-powered sedans, utilities and hatchbacks – that he had seen doing high speeds in central.
“There’s a red Commodore that has no exhaust and the driver is always revving it,” he said.
“I parked behind his car once at one of the service stations so he couldn’t go anywhere and I rang the police to come by.
“I waited for half an hour but they said they were too busy.”
The resident said he had also spoken to the service stations on the north side of Wagga about the issue.
“They say they’re sick of it – they’re over it.
“Because they [the drivers] go there most nights.”
Asked if a burnout pad is needed, he said it would not make a difference.
“If anything, it would make these idiots do it more in town,” he said.
“Also, it’s still not a fix to the Wagga police not doing their jobs.”
Strike Force Puma targets dangerous drivers
In late June this year, the NSW Police Force announced Strike Force Puma, a statewide specialist team targeting high-risk drivers who pose a significant threat to the community.
In mid July, the specialist team caught a blue Holden Commodore and white Subaru WRX for allegedly speeding and street racing on the Olympic Highway.
On July 20, after Strike Force Puma visited Wagga, Acting Inspector Phil Malligan of the Riverina Police District said police were targeting dangerous drivers to remove them from roads.
“People that are going about their normal business should not be subject to the dangerous driving of other motorists,” he said.
Wagga Police referred media enquiries to its Highway Patrol Command; however, the department did not respond to before deadline.