Homeowners have a right to live in reasonable peace and the courts have all the powers required to ensure that their tranquillity is respected. In one case that proved the point, the High Court took urgent steps to end the nuisance of illegal high-performance vehicle racing close to a suburban housing estate.
Straight roads in the area had become a venue for so-called ‘cruisers’ who met to perform stunts and high-speed drag races. Gatherings, involving as many as 500 vehicles, took place weekly and the sound of revving engines, screeching tyres, shouting and music caused great annoyance to residents.
There had also been a number of serious accidents, one of them fatal. The police had found it difficult to stop the meetings, as many of the vehicles involved had their number plates removed. For safety reasons, officers were also unable to chase cruisers who were not wearing protective headgear.
In granting an injunction to the local authority, the Court noted that the cruisers’ activities were dangerous, not just for them but for spectators and members of the public generally. The gatherings were a source of grave public disquiet and nuisance and the problem was getting worse. The injunction, which was to last three years, banned any activity in the relevant area which might generate excessive noise, danger, nuisance or risk of damage to property.