ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Understanding street racing and 'hoon' culture: An exploratory investigation of perceptions and experiences

Armstrong, K, Steinhardt, Dale (Peer reviewed)



Street racing can take the form of spontaneous one-to-one racing or highly organised events, while ?hooning? generally refers to activities such as burnouts or excessive acceleration. Recent media reports have highlighted the potential for fatalities or injuries and the public nuisance caused by these behaviours. Subsequently, formal ?anti-hooning? legislation has been passed in four Australian states and New Zealand.  In the last two years since the introduction of Queensland?s ?anti-hoon? legislation, over 1500 vehicles have been impounded and over 4100 disturbance complaints registered.  Official Queensland police reports have registered 169 ?hooning? or racing crashes involving 12-24 year olds in the period 1999-2004. Current research suggests those involved are typically young males aged between 16 and 25. The current investigation used a combination of focus groups, e-mail responses and message board feedback to conduct an examination of the experiences and perceptions of young people in regards to ?hooning? behaviour and legislative reforms. It is proposed that the results can be used to inform existing legislation and the assist in the development of interventions from both a youth and Queensland Police Service perspective.