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Burnouts, wheelies, doughnuts, drag racing ... the Victorian Government has worked wonders on the road toll over the past 20 years. In mid-2006 they introduced tough new 'anti-hoon' legislation, but is clamping down on young people and branding them 'hoons' the best way to deal with the problem?
Does it create and then marginalise a class of young men, and drive them into further dangerous or even criminal acts?
Or have the new laws played a key role in making the roads safer? Are there any other more creative ways to deal with the issue?
How will it help?
We have created a category of young, aggressive males who are out there to enjoy themselves irrespective of the cost to themselves and to society. Maybe there is some truth in that categorisation, but it seems particularly unhelpful in light of the many difficulties young people face as they become adults.
Andrew McKenna has been reporting regional news for 10 years in central Victorian regional weeklies and dailies. His freelance articles have been published widely throughout Australia, and his fiction has been published in Australia, the US and the UK.
In early 2010 he established the new news service Castlemaine Independent, at www.castlemaineindependent.org
I will conduct interviews with police, politicians, social workers and of course young men involved in 'hoon' activities.
No relationships to anyone involved.