Hoons in car rip up footy ground

Education program to improve safety

Western Eagles club member David Uwland said he was “furious” to discover burn-outs criss-crossing Irrewillipe Recreation Reserve.

POLICE and road safety campaigners hope a driver education program will curb hoon driving and lower the region’s road toll.

Nine Colac and district probationary drivers voluntarily took their cars to Colac’s saleyards yesterday to further their driving education.

Nine Colac and district p-platers took their cars to Colac’s saleyards yesterday for a defensive driving course.

Colac RoadSafe’s John Betts said he thought yesterday’s participants would be better drivers after completing the one-day course.

“There’ll be a majority of them who will take this knowledge away and use it daily,” he said.

Mr Betts said young people aged between 18 and 26 accounted for 25 per cent of road deaths.

“We’re trying to lower the road toll, we do what we can,” he said.

Sergeant Shane Howard of Colac Highway Patrol said the course was an opportunity for red and green P-platers to practice concentration, respect and driving with care.

“The more training and the more practice you get at anything, the better you’ll be,” Sgt Howard said.

“I hope it will just instil in them how simple it is for something to go wrong,” he said.

The driving course follows yet another hoon-related incident in Colac and district. Hoons ripped up turf on the Irrewillipe Recreation Reserve on Friday, prompting a last-minute repair job before the Western Eagles’ home game against Forrest on Saturday.

Western Eagles member David Uwland said he was “furious” about the damage.

“It’s happened before but not for a while and not as bad as this,” Mr Uwland said.

Colac Acting Sergeant Andrew Hurst said hoons showed “a total lack of respect to the rest of the community”.

“Under the hoon legislation if we find people doing that they’ll be charged and have their car impounded,” he said.

Leading Senior Constable Terry Woodcroft of Colac police urged people with information on the vandalism to come forward.

“We’re very disappointed with what has taken place out there, it’s a senseless act to cause damage to the footy surface, especially during the footy season,” Sen Const Woodcroft said.

“It was significant damage, so we’re looking for any information and if a source is not willing to talk to police directly, they can call Crime Stoppers anonymously,” he said.

Hoons also damaged Colac Cricket Club’s Lake Oval late last year.

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