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Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall Councils have applied for a new High Court injunction to ban car cruising in the Black Country area

Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Wolverhampton councils, in partnership with West Midlands Police, will be returning to the High Court to obtain a new injunction banning car cruising in the Black Country, following the expiry of the previous injunction 01 February 2021.

Similar car cruising injunctions have been imposed in other parts of the West Midlands and surrounding areas.

The application will be heard at Birmingham High Court on Thursday 13 May 2021 at a remote hearing utilising Microsoft Teams.

People are invited to submit comments and observations regarding the car cruising injunction, and the application for a new injunction, by emailing litigation@wolverhampton.gov.uk by 4pm on Tuesday 04 May 2021. Comments received will be presented as evidence to the High Court

Served against 'persons unknown', this new injunction, if granted, will forbid people from:

  • participating in a 'car cruise event'
  • promoting events
  • organising events
  • publicising events

This covers a number of activities typically associated with car cruising, including speeding, racing and driving in convoy, performing stunts, sounding horns or playing music as to cause a public nuisance, using foul or abusive language and threatening, intimidating behaviour and causing an obstruction on a public highway, whether moving or stationary.

Anyone who ignores this injunction may:

  • be arrested
  • face penalties such as an unlimited fine
  • have their assets seized
  • face up to two years imprisonment.

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.

The full terms of the injunction applied for, as well as the evidence in support of the application, are available by clicking the PDF in the downloads at the bottom of the webpage. Two video exhibits contained within the evidence can be seen here. Also available in this section is a map of the area to be enforced.

What is car cruising?

  • Although most people attend these meetings in their cars, the injunction relates to any 'motor vehicle'.  Therefore, meetings using motorbikes or quadbikes are also included.
  • It is the act of drivers meeting on the public highway or a publicly accessible place
  • It can be either planned or unplanned
  • The point is for people to race or show off in their cars/vehicles

Gatherings can attract up to 250 vehicles and spectators. Councils and the Police have received hundreds of complaints about:

  • obstructing highways, residential or business properties
  • dangerous driving
  • excessive noise
  • littering
  • verbal abuse, swearing and intimidation.

Car cruising is noisy, dangerous and illegal. Some events have resulted in serious injuries and even death.

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 

The New Injunction

Under the terms of the new injunction being applied for:

  1. It is forbidden for anyone to participate, between the hours of 3:00pm and 7:00am, in a gathering of 2 or more persons within the Black Country Area (shown on Plan A) at which some of those present engage in motor racing or motor stunts or other dangerous or obstructive driving.
  2. It is forbidden for anyone to participate, between the hours of 3:00pm and 7:00am, in a gathering of 2 or more persons within the Black Country Area (shown on Plan A) with the intention or expectation that some of those present will engage in motor racing or motor stunts or other dangerous or obstructive driving
  3. It is forbidden for anyone to participate, to promote organise publicise (by any means whatsoever) any gathering between the hours of 3:00pm and 7:00am of 2 or more persons with the intention or expectation that some of those present will engage in motor racing or motor stunts or other dangerous or obstructive driving within the Black Country Area shown on Plan A (attached).
  4. Stunts are driving manoeuvres often undertaken at such gatherings including:
  5. “Burnouts” Causing a vehicle to destroy its tyres by applying power to the drive wheels while braking so as to remain in place while the wheels revolve at speed;
  6. “Donuts/Donutting” Causing a vehicle to rotate around a fixed point (normally the front axle) while not moving-off causing noise, smoke and tyre marks to be created;
  7. “Drifting” Turning by placing the vehicle in a skid so that most sideways motion is due to the skid not any significant steering input; and
  8. “Undertaking” passing a vehicle on its nearside so as to overtake in circumstances not permitted by the Highway Code
  9. A Power of Arrest pursuant to section 27 Police and Criminal Justice Act 2006 shall apply to clauses 1 and 2 above.
  10. The order and power of arrest shall continue in force for 3 years following the commencement of this order or until it is varied or discharged by the court.
  11. Personal service of this injunction is dispensed with pursuant to rule 81.8 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

Previous Injunction

Wolverhampton, Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall councils previously secured an injunction from the High Court in Birmingham on 1 December 2014. The life of the injunction was extended to 1 February 2021 by the High Court at a hearing on 9 January 2018.

This injunction has now expired and is no longer in force.

The Injunction

Under the terms of the injunction

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A power of arrest pursuant to section 27 Police and Criminal Justice Act 2006 shall apply to clause 1 above.
  • 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.
  • Personal service of this injunction is dispensed with pursuant to rule 81.8 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

Schedule

  • The injunction defines car cruising as two or more motor vehicles (including motorbikes) between the hours of 3 pm and 7 am 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Injunction extension

Injunction hearing adjourned