Police at a 'car cruise' on the Armagh Road in Newry last Saturday, 9 November issued 35 warnings and fixed penalty notices, noted two offences and sent 19 vehicles to the Newry MOT centre.

Constable Darrell Nesbitt said: “Local residents have raised concerns with us in relation to the manner in which vehicles are being driven in the area.

Taking these concerns on-board, local police and our colleagues in PSNI Roads Policing attended the ‘car cruise’ event and our partners in DVLA kept their MOT centre open.  Our colleagues in An Garda Siochana were also checking vehicles in their area.

“When we arrived there were upwards of 200 vehicles present.  Whilst most of the cars were roadworthy there were some that were not.

A 2018 cruise event

“As a result of this operation 19 vehicles were taken to the MOT centre.  Out of these 19 vehicles:-

2 vehicles were being used in a dangerous condition
6 vehicle owners were given immediate prohibitions (this means that the vehicle owners were prohibited from driving their vehicles immediately until they got the defects on their vehicles fixed)
5 vehicles were given delayed prohibitions (this means that the vehicle owners were given a time frame in which to fix the defects on their vehicles)

The following offences were also noted by Police:-

1 driver is being reported to the PPS for no insurance
1 driver is being reported to the PPS for possession of a class b controlled drug

Warnings and Fixed Penalty Notices were also issued by police:-

8 drivers were given warnings for causing alarm, distress or annoyance (incidents can range from backfiring of engines to excessive revving)
17 drivers were issued Fixed Penalty Notices
10 drivers were given endorsed Fixed Penalty Notices

“Police fully appreciate there is a culture, particularly in Northern Ireland, for drivers who take a keen interest in modifying, tuning and detailing their cars.  For many this is an enjoyable hobby that takes quite a bit of time, money and effort.  However, all of the cars must be roadworthy and be capable of being used on the roads safely.  As can be seen from the above figures there were quite a few vehicles that did not ‘quite measure up’.

“I would ask the organisers of similar events to make sure they contact police prior to the event to discuss how they are organised.  We can then set down a clear understanding of what is expected from everyone concerned.  I would appeal to persons attending such events to have consideration for residents, other motorists and to be aware of their driving standards and potential inconvenience that such gatherings may bring. Remember there are people living nearby– they do not want to listen to the constant noise of cars revving their engines.

“We will continue to patrol the area and where we note people breaking the law they will be dealt with in a robust manner.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff at the local DVLA for opening their doors late into the evening to ensure that vehicles were checked and also our colleagues in An Garda Siochana for their co-operation.”

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