Police have charged a Sunshine Coast man with multiple offences after he allegedly performed several dangerous manoeuvres in a heavily modified vehicle and uploaded vision to social media.
It will be alleged the 29-year-old man purchased a “clown car” which comprised of a fuel system with a plastic jerrycan attached to a rubber hose, and made some additional modifications to the vehicle.
He then allegedly performed “stunts” in the vehicle on multiple occasions, including repeated burnouts, front wheel stands and in one instance a tug of war between the car and a group of men holding a snatch strap. The car was also crashed at speed in Beerwah, rolling down an embankment.
Vision of the driving was then shared across various social media channels.
Police subsequently commenced an investigation into the man’s online activity, which included instructional videos on how to modify vehicles, broadcast to thousands of subscribers.
On September 30 a search warrant was executed at Image Flat, during which officers seized multiple items.
Police with the assistance of the Department of Transport and Main Roads conducted an inspection of the vehicles at the address which were subsequently grounded for allegedly being grossly defective and non-compliant.
The clown car along with another vehicle were seized by police.
The 29-year-old Image Flat man was arrested at the residence and charged with:
2 x Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle – Type 1 offence
1 x Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle
2 x Careless Driving
1 x Permit drive defective vehicle – Major Defect unsafe
1 x Drive defective vehicle – Major Defect unsafe
2 x Drive with passenger unrestrained
1 x Drive unrestrained
1 x Passenger fail to wear seat belt
He was bailed to appear in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on December 12.
Highway Patrol investigators then attended several addresses of people who allegedly appeared in and contributed to the videos. Nine alleged participants were issued with 70 Traffic Infringement Notices (TINs) with a combined total of 99 associated demerit points.
Investigations are continuing with further TINs likely to be issued and additional offences detected. To date, the cost of TINs issued totals $27,800.
Sunshine Coast District Superintendent Craig Hawkins said police will not turn a blind eye to someone blatantly flouting the law.
“Putting not only your own life at risk but those of your mates for the sake of social media notoriety is childish and selfish behaviour,” Superintendent Hawkins said.
“Sharing these antics with his large contingent of online followers has come at a significant financial cost, both in fines and the loss of vehicles,” he said.
“Our message to anyone taking part in foolish and high-risk activities or thinking you can push modified, unsafe vehicles to the limit is that we will continue to target you, investigate and take action.”
In addition to penalties for hooning related offences of fines of up to $5,338 and terms of imprisonment up to 6 months, hoons also face having their vehicle impounded or immobilised.