Police operation forces ‘cruisers’ out of Maghera

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A MASSIVE ‘car cruise’ planned for Maghera at the weekend failed to materialise after police swamped the South Derry town.

The PSNI issued a warning in the days leading up to the event that they would be strictly monitoring it for any breaches of the road traffic legislation.

The cruise, which was advertised on a social networking site, attracted dozens of cars from across the Province.

The venue was St Lurach’s car park but, the MAIL understands, the strong presence of police forced the participants to move outside the Magherafelt district.

SDLP Councillor Kate Lagan welcomed the development.

She said the residents of Maghera had anticipated “a very noisy night” but were spared this thanks to the police operation.

Local Neighbourhood Inspector, Donna Bowden said, “Police fully appreciate this type of event is popular 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 capable of being used on the roads safely and events of this nature must be organised with the safety of the public in mind.

“Police have established good working relationships with cruisers in a number of areas across Northern Ireland, often displaying vehicles such as the Subaru Impreza cars used by our Roads Policing Unit. This has worked to the benefit of everyone and we want this approach to continue.” She added that police in Maghera had no objections to ‘car cruise’ events but appealed for people 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.

“Road Safety is a priority for police and anyone found in breach of road traffic legislation will be prosecuted,” she stressed.

Meanwhile, police say they have successfully reduced the level of “vehicle nuisance” in Draperstown.

Targeted patrolling, road safety events and operations focused on dangerous driving have all yielded results and police will continue to focus on making our roads safer.

Neighbourhood Sergeant Tony Wright said: “This is an issue the local community have raised with us and one we will continue to address.

“We are aware of concerns over the activities of some drivers in the area and have carried out a number of road safety operations.

“We will carry out further operations and general checks in order to respond to the concerns of local residents regarding driving behaviour and, ultimately, to reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads.

“Police in Magherafelt are committed to working towards reducing victims of road collisions and we ask all road users to adhere to the rules of the road and drive safely.”