Southbank and Montague residents plagued by hooning

Southbank and Montague residents plagued by hooning

By Katie Johnson

Southbank residents have reported an increase in hooning and anti-social behaviour since lockdown restrictions were eased and are urging authorities to act.

Locals are calling for speed bumps to be installed in a number of areas such as City Rd, Power St, Kavanagh St and Normanby Rd to catch hoons and deter others from offending.

Southbank local Danielle Purdy said the endless noise had put her off from buying in the area.

“The cops would make a motza hanging out on ‘the City Rd Racetrack’ at the intersection near the Eureka 7-11,” Ms Purdy said.

“Hot nights mean windows open with an endless revving soundtrack. We love our apartment but the noise since lockdown ended put us off buying where we currently rent.”

Natasha Bloomfield Smits, who works on City Rd, said she had witnessed “at least six accidents from people hooning too close to the Power St intersection” since moving into Southbank two-and-a-half years ago.

“I have seen so many accidents from my reception desk on City Rd. I’ve held a few heads still while paramedics arrive,” Ms Bloomfield Smits said.

“Don’t even get me started on what it’s like when Crown’s pumping, the toxic masculinity trophies hooning out of there are visible from my balcony and their only goal is to accelerate and show off.”

Ms Bloomfield Smits said that City Rd and Power St would benefit from more speed humps and clear signage that said, “drive safely and watch for children”.

“It needs to be really obvious to people that they’ve entered a residential district,” she said.

Locals Rachael Roessler and Cotton Wang said they had both witnessed a Mercedes doing burnouts at corner of Power and Kavanagh streets multiple nights in a row.

“The smoke from its tyres went up to at least three floors high and our hair smelled burnt just from standing near the traffic light. It was terrifying,” Ms Wang said.

Southbank resident David Zierraton said that every weekday at 4pm hooning would occur at the Mercedes-Benz carpark off Sturt St.

“Police are well aware of the competitive, arrogant, drag racing, burnouts and blokey behaviour,” Mr Zierraton said.

“VCA students at tram stop often on high alert. One day someone is going to get hit.”

Docklands residents also said that packs of loud motorbikes were constantly tearing through the area.

Anti-hooning Facebooks groups have suggested that speed bumps be installed on intersections which often have their traffic lights used as starting guns.

They also suggested that noise cameras should be installed which detect vehicles that exceed legal noise limits – as seen in other countries such as the UK.

A City of Melbourne spokesperson said council was working closely with Victoria Police on the hooning issue and had allocated $2.8 million in the draft budget 2021-22 for city safety measures.

“We’re doing everything we can to ensure people can move safely around our municipality, whether it’s by public transport, car, bike or foot,” the spokesperson said.

“We’re currently considering the future use of Safe City Cameras, which have the ability to measure noise, in locations where noise may be considered as a problem.”

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