A ground-breaking injunction banning car cruising in the Black Country has been extended for a further three years until 2021, by the High Court.
The injunction bans people from taking part in a car cruise anywhere within Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall, or from promoting, organising or publicising any such event in the four areas.
It has had a major impact since being introduced in 2015, leading to a significant reduction in car cruising in many parts of the Black Country, with the problem being eliminated entirely in some areas.
Some 17 people have also been convicted of breaching the injunction, either by participating in or organising a car cruise, and have received suspended prison sentences, been fined up to £1,000 and ordered to pay court costs.
However, there are still car cruising hotspots in the region with a number of fatalities linked to car cruising in recent years, and so the four Black Country boroughs, led by the City of Wolverhampton Council and West Midlands Police, were successful in seeking a continuation of the injunction until 1 February 2021 at the Birmingham District Registry of the High Court this morning.
His Honour Judge McKenna, sitting as a High Court judge, said: “The measures are reasonable and proportionate and I am content to extend the order for another three years.”
The injunction prohibits activities typically associated with car cruising, including speeding, racing and driving in convoy, performing stunts and causing an obstruction on a public highway.
It also prohibits consequences associated with car cruising, including excessive noise, danger or risk of injury to other road users and pedestrians, damage or risk of damage to property and significant risk of harm, public nuisance and annoyance to the public.
Anyone breaching the injunction risks being in contempt of court, for which they can face up to two years in prison and a fine.
The authorities can also seize assets such as vehicles. In addition, police retain their powers in relation to traffic offences including driving without insurance, driving an unroadworthy vehicle and driving without due care and attention.
Incidents of car cruising should be reported to West Midlands Police on 101. In an emergency, always dial 999.
People can also view a short video clip about the injunction
Under the terms of the injunction:
1.It is forbidden for anyone to participate in "car cruising" (as defined in the Schedule below) anywhere within the Claimants' combined geographical area known locally as the Black Country Area.
2.It is also forbidden for anyone to promote, organise, or publicise via e-mail, the internet or any publication or broadcast, any "car cruising" within the defined geographical area.
3.A power of arrest pursuant to section 27 Police and Criminal Justice Act 2006 shall apply to clause 1 above.
4.The order and power of arrest shall continue in force for a further 3 years following the commencement of this order or until it is varied or discharged by the court. This extension of the duration of the order shall come into effect at midnight on 2 February 2018 (when the order as originally granted ceases to be in force) provided that the Claimants have completed certain steps. It shall, subject to further order, expire at midnight 1 February 2021.
5.Personal service of this injunction is dispensed with pursuant to rule 81.8 of the Civil Procedure Rules.
1.The injunction defines car cruising as two or more motor vehicles (including motorbikes) between the hours of 3pm and 7am being on a highway or in a publicly accessible place within the Black Country Area at which any such vehicle or occupant of a vehicle performs any of the prohibited activities listed in clause 3 below which causes, or is capable of causing, any of the prohibited consequences set out in clause 4 below.
2.Participating in car cruising means being the driver of, or being carried in (or on), a motor vehicle (including motorbikes) in circumstances in which clause 1 (above) applies.
3.The prohibited activities referred to in clause 1 above are: speeding; driving in convoy; racing; performing stunts; sounding horns or playing music as to cause a nuisance; using foul or abusive language; using threatening, intimidating behaviour towards another person; and causing obstruction on a public highway, whether moving or stationary.
4.The prohibited consequences referred to in clause 1 above are: excessive noise; danger or risk of injury to road users, including pedestrians; damage or significant risk of damage to property; risk of harm; nuisance; and annoyance.