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Criminal & traffic law

Street-racing and “cruising”

Anti-cruising laws

Breaching local bylaws against “cruising”

Land Transport Act 1998, ss 22A(3A), 22AB; Land Transport (Offences and Penalties) Regulations 1999, Schedule 1

Local councils can make bylaws restricting or banning “cruising” on their local roads. “Cruising” means driving a vehicle repeatedly in the same direction, and over the same section of road, in a way that either draws attention to the power or sound of the engine, or that creates a convoy of vehicles that interferes with traffic flow.

It’s a criminal offence to breach an anti-cruising bylaw. You can be fined up to $1,000 if prosecuted through the courts, or given a $150 on-the-spot infringement notice.

Christchurch City Council, for example, has a bylaw banning cruising on specific roads, between 10 pm and 5 am seven days a week.

Christchurch City Council Cruising and Prohibited Times on Roads Bylaw 2014

The NZ Transport Agency can also make anti-cruising bylaws for state highways.

Impounding for cruising after a warning

Land Transport Act 1998, ss 22AF, 96(1AA)

If you’re stopped for breaching a cruising bylaw, the police can give you a warning notice, which they’ll attach to your vehicle (this will be either as well as, or instead of, giving you an infringement notice for cruising). This means that if they stop you again for breaching a cruising bylaw any time within the next 90 days (three months), your vehicle will be impounded for 28 days, see “Losing your vehicle: Impounding and confiscation” in this chapter.

Land Transport Act 1998, s 52(8)

If you remove or cover up the warning notice, you can be fined up to $10,000.

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Driving and traffic law

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New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA)


Phone: 0800 699 000
Email: info@nzta.govt.nz

The NZTA site provides a wide range of driving and road safety information, including on topics covered in this chapter.

You can read and download fact sheets and other publications from their site, or you can order hard copies by contacting them, including their fact-sheet on Legal mobile phone use while driving.


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The “Driving/road safety” and “Tickets/infringements” section of this webpage have Frequently Asked Questions about traffic fines, speeding, demerit points and where you can pay your fines.

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“Parking, towing and clamping”


This Consumer Protection webpage has information about the law covering tow trucks and wheel-clamping on public and private property, and about unreasonable fees in private car parks.

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