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A Boy who races

"Boy racers" = a phenomenon that has spread through New Zealand in the past few years. Generally males aged between 16 and 30 driving "done up" cars irresponsibly, unlawfully and causing disturbance in the local community through noise or vandalism.

Throughout the years, the term "boy racer" has developed very negative connotations through the media and local communities, such as the term above provokes. They are mentioned several times a week in newspapers or on the television news for causing crashes, vandalizing parks and racing on city streets.

They can easily be recognized by the look of the car, certain characteristics to look for: aftermarket mags (usually large), lowered suspension, big bore or loud exhaust system, tinted windows rolled down just so you can see the drivers hat and hear the loud booming music. Sure some of these drivers will be considerate people who only drive such a car because he/she is honestly a car enthusiast with a love for modifying BUT most are just immature and inconsiderate drivers.

How many boy racer cars can you pick out in this photo?

They get joy from disturbing local neighborhoods with their loud exhaust at 3 in the morning, endangering the lives of the public via speeding and drifting on public roads, and doing donuts on grasses of reserves. For those who didn't know, a "donut" is where you consistently lose traction through heavy acceleration while making circles/donuts of torn rubber on the road or offroad as seen in the newspaper article above. Local residents are fed up with this type of behaviour and many others are upset by the wild antics of boy racers. This caused the government and the LTSA (Land Transport and Safety Association) to take action and in May 2003 "The Land Transport (Unauthorised Street and Drag Racing) Amendment Act" aka "The Boy Racer Act" was brought into force. This was aimed especially at street racing and burnouts in public places and any law-breaking resulted in heavy penalties. (The following is from www.police.govt.nz)

If you drive a car in an illegal street race or accelerate in an unnecessary way on a road, or, if you do wheel spins, "donuts" or drive a car on a road in a way that causes the car to lose traction (unless authorised by law):

  • You could face 3 months in prison, or fines up to $4,500; and lose your licence for at least 6 months.
  • Police may impound your car for 28 days at your expense - effective immediately.
  • If you injure or kill someone while doing this, you could go to prison for up to 5 years, or face a fine up to $20,000 and lose your licence for 1 year.


A get together with friends - doing burnouts at a carpark

If you pour or spill petrol, oil, diesel fuel, or any other any other slippery substance likely to cause a vehicle to lose traction, onto any road.

  • You could face an infringement fee of $600, or if it goes to Court, a fine up to $3,000.

As you can see the consequences of such silly behaviour of the boy racers are high. These new laws and the fact that police are now encouraging the general public to note down registration numbers of boy racer cars and 'dob' them in, are making a difference in the present day.

But occasionally you will hear about the fatal crashes of young teenagers, which the majority are boy racers. Often crashes are fueled with a deadly concoction of young overconfident and/or inexperienced drivers, alcohol, a high performance car and a love for speed. Such statistics are reasons why the insurance premium has gone through the roof for people aged 16-25, if they even decide to cover you.

This looks like it would've been a bad crash…

Dyno runs to see how much horsepower your car is running

An answer to the boy racer problem is to provide them with a safe and organized venue to do what they are doing dangerously on streets and in public. Nowadays there are many events such as this where people can legally enter events to drag, burn rubber and drift. This is a great idea and should be encouraged.


Some, "soup up" their car to the extreme, sacrificing a lot of time and money. Because of this there are a number of events during the year, for car enthusiasts to "show off" their extreme cars to other car enthusiasts who don't have such cars. The biggest event of these is the AutoSalon. This took place in Auckland in November, but it also happens around NZ.

Boys: "Dam, I want that car…"

Don't get this wrong, not ALL teenagers in New Zealand are irresponsible, speed driven boy racers. The majority are law abiding people who drive their cars carefully and with respect. Boy racers are only a minority BUT they do stand out. Come to New Zealand and see if you can spot any….. locations@cubicfilm.co.nz

Tamaki Drive in Auckland, a very nice place for a sunny drive


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