Cruising and Prohibited Times on Roads Bylaw

We’re reviewing our Cruising and Prohibited Times on Roads Bylaw. It aims to reduce dangerous and antisocial behaviour on our city’s roads.

Project status: Decision made
Open for feedback: 27 June 2023 to 25 July 2023

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Consultation has now closed

Consultation on the Cruising and Prohibited Times on Roads bylaw has now closed. People were able to provide feedback from 27 June 2023 to 25 July 2023.

During this time, we heard from 41 individuals and groups. You can read their feedback [PDF, 23 MB] and the staff recommendation(external link) as part of the agenda for the Hearings Panel meeting.


The Hearings Panel will be held:

Wednesday 13 September 2023


Committee Room 1, Level 2, Civic Offices, 53 Hereford Street, Christchurch


This is a public meeting and you are welcome to attend.

It’s time to review our bylaw that regulates antisocial road-user behaviour.

The Cruising and Prohibited Times on Roads Bylaw was last reviewed in 2014. It sets rules to reduce cruising and to restrict access to some roads in rural and industrial areas where there is a history of antisocial behaviour, such as racing and burnouts. It enables police to take certain actions and complements other powers they have.

Under the current bylaw(external link), cruising is restricted on 50 of our roads (or parts of roads). In this review we do not propose changes to the roads already registered (no new no-cruising areas).

Proposed changes outlined here focus on roads (or parts of roads) with prohibited times (access restrictions) in place. We currently have 82 of these.

Key changes

We propose changes to three main documents:

  • The bylaw itself will be replaced
  • Our register of roads with prohibited times in place will be updated with 17 changes – 16 additions and one removal
  • Our Prohibited Times on Roads Operational Policy will be updated to reflect the above changes

The proposed replacement bylaw

Read the full proposed Cruising and Prohibited Times on Roads Bylaw 2023  [PDF, 157 KB]

What is this?

This bylaw enables us to prohibit cruising on some roads, and to prohibit nighttime access to some roads to reduce the potential for vehicle-based antisocial activities, such as racing and burnouts. We’ve looked at how we can update and improve it and have prepared a replacement bylaw.

How does this affect me?

We plan to:

  • Update and modernise the bylaw
  • Modify the purpose clause of the prohibited times on roads section in the bylaw to align more effectively with legislation
  • Update the exceptions to the nighttime access restrictions to better reflect likely uses, such as rideshare services and deliveries
  • Clarify that the bylaw is a “qualifying bylaw” under the Land Transport Act 1998, meaning police can issue warning notices and can seize and impound vehicles for repeated breaches

The register of roads regulated by the bylaw

Read the full Prohibited Times on Roads Register [PDF, 274 KB]

What is this?

This register specifies the roads where nighttime vehicle access is prohibited, and the days and times when the prohibition applies.

How does this affect me?

We’re proposing to add 16 roads and remove part of one road.

The new roads are in Hornby, Sockburn and near the airport. These roads have been identified by the Council, police and the community as areas where vehicle-related antisocial activities are occurring at night, causing damage to roads, concern in the community and increasing the potential for harm.  Prohibiting access to these roads at night removes the opportunity for this kind of vehicle-related antisocial behaviour.

We’re proposing to remove one section of road in Belfast. Residential development in this area means restricting access at night is no longer appropriate.

Table 1. Proposed roads to be added to the Prohibited Times on Roads Register

Name of road/s


Times when vehicles would be prohibited


Establishment Drive, Depot Street, Headquarters Place, Quadrant Drive, Aruhe Road and Mania Road (Hornby South)

Full length

10pm to 5am

7 days a week

Part of Branston Street (Hornby) 

Section from Halswell Junction Road to Boston Avenue

10pm to 5am

7 days a week

Watts Road (Sockburn)

Full length

10pm to 5am

7 days a week

Weaver Place (Sockburn)

Full length

10pm to 5am

Thursday – Sunday, and nights before and after public holidays

Part of Pound Road (Yaldhurst) 

Branch of Pound Road east of the main alignment

10pm to 5am

Thursday – Sunday, and nights before and after public holidays

Aviation Drive (Yaldhurst)

Full length

10pm to 5am

Thursday – Sunday, and nights before and after public holidays

Part of Syd Bradley Road (Yaldhurst)

Russley Road to Ron Guthrey Road

10pm to 5am

Thursday – Sunday, and nights before and after public holidays

Jet Place (Harewood)

Full length

10pm to 5am

7 days a week

Lakes Way, Outlook Place and Lakeside Place (Harewood)

Full length

10pm to 5am

Thursday – Sunday, and nights before and after public holidays

Table 2. Proposed road to be removed from the Prohibited Times on Roads Register

Name of road/s






Blakes Road (Belfast)

Radcliffe Road to Belfast Road

Nighttime road access needed for residential access




The proposed replacement policy

Read the full proposed Prohibited Times on Roads Operational Policy [PDF, 110 KB]

What is this?

This policy sets out guidelines for adding, removing, or altering roads where nighttime access for light vehicles is prohibited. The community, police and Community Boards have a role in this process. The policy includes analysis criteria, which outlines that:

  • there is a history of complaints and impacts on the road or in the area
  • there is evidence of issues, including damage to the road
  • other enforcement or practical approaches have been tried and the problem persists
  • prohibiting nighttime access to the road is a proportional response to the activities
  • the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act implications have been considered, and imposing restrictions would be considered reasonable
  • the Police support the proposal
  • staff support the proposal

How does this affect me?

If adopted, this policy would replace the ‘Prohibited Times on Roads Policy” which is currently used by Council.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the bylaw being changed?

Councils are required by legislation to regularly review their bylaws to ensure they are up-to-date and fit for purpose. Legislation sets out what is required for a bylaw review. To find out more about the review, the proposed changes and the reasons for them, have a look at these documents;

  • Bylaw Review Report [PDF, 361 KB]
    This report reviews the existing bylaw, outlines the bylaw-making powers for the new bylaw, and highlights the proposed changes with reasoning. It also includes a section 155 analysis that includes the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 assessment.
  • Clause-by-clause analysis [PDF, 481 KB]
    This document explains all the changes to the bylaw in detail.

What does the bylaw NOT cover?

The bylaw has a limited scope, regulating to prevent two vehicle-based antisocial activities that can occur on Council roads.

The bylaw does not specifically address things like loud exhausts, modified vehicles, dangerous driving or burnouts as these are covered by other existing laws that apply across New Zealand.

Nighttime access restrictions are only applied to roads where we wouldn’t normally expect people to be late at night – we wouldn’t apply this in a residential area, for example, or on an arterial road.

If you are concerned about dangerous vehicle-related activities, let the police know when it is happening. This helps them to understand what is happening and when, so that they can address it.

More information on how we would decide whether or not to consider restricting access to a road at night is in the proposed operational policy [PDF, 110 KB].

Does the bylaw limit freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights Act?

Bylaws created under the Local Government Act 2002 (LGA) need to be evaluated to see if they have any impact on rights protected by the New Zealand Bills of Rights Act 1990 (NZBoRA). This is required by section 155 of the LGA.

The assessment only applies to the part of the bylaw that deals with restricted times on roads, not the part related to cruising which falls under transport laws. Since the restricted times on roads section of the bylaw limits nighttime access to specific roads for drivers of light vehicles, this places limitations on people’s freedom of movement, which is a right protected by the NZBoRA.

Council has assessed the NZBoRA implications and has determined that the restrictions are justifiable, given the harms the bylaw is seeking to address and the types of roads the bylaw regulates. They believe the bylaw is a fair and proportionate response to the issues and that it does not conflict with the NZBoRA. For more detailed information, see the Bylaw Review Report [PDF, 361 KB].

What are ‘prohibited times on roads’?

The bylaw restricts access for light vehicles on certain roads late at night, but there are exceptions for valid vehicle access. These restrictions apply between 10pm and 5am. Some roads have these restrictions in place every day, while others have them only from Thursday-Sunday (including nights before and after public holidays).  This depends on whether the area is industrial or a rural-city fringe road.

The prohibited times on roads register includes roads known for antisocial behaviour by drivers. These roads are usually in secluded areas, where there is a history of people gathering to watch or take part in risky or unsafe driving, such as burnouts and street racing.

Residential areas, major roads, and roads commonly used at night would not be considered for these restrictions. State highways are not included as they are managed by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, not the Council.

What is “cruising”?

Under the Land Transport Act, cruising is defined as driving repeatedly in the same direction over the same section of a road in a motor vehicle in a manner that:

(a) draws attention to the power or sound of the engine of the motor vehicle being driven; or

(b) creates a convoy that:

(i) is formed otherwise than in trade; and

(ii) impedes traffic flow

Under the current bylaw, there are 50 roads (or parts of roads) where cruising is prohibited. The Council is not suggesting any changes to this list [PDF, 274 KB].

Roads where cruising is prohibited are usually multi-laned, busy roads, and the cruising restriction applies from 10pm-5am.

How is this enforced?

The two parts of the bylaws are made under different legislation, so have different penalties. Only the Police can enforce the bylaw.

Drivers who break the rules can be issued with an infringement fine (ticket) of $150 for cruising, or $750 for driving on a road when it is prohibited. This is not changing.

The Council is proposing to make it clearer in the bylaw that drivers who break the rules can also be issued with a formal warning notice by the police, and if they breach the bylaw again within a 90-day period, their vehicle can be seized and impounded for 28 days.

Which types of vehicles does the bylaw restrict?

Prohibited times on roads (nighttime access restrictions) only apply to light vehicles. This is a term used in transport legislation. A light vehicle is any vehicle that is under 3,500kg – such as a car, van, ute, SUV or 4WD. Larger vehicles require a heavy vehicle licence, so any driver would know if they were driving a vehicle that was not considered a light vehicle because they would need a special licence.

Next Steps

After the consultation closes, a hearings panel will consider all written submissions. Any submitters wishing to be heard will have the opportunity to speak to the panel about their submissions.

Following hearings, the panel will then deliberate and make decisions on the final bylaw to recommend to the Council for adoption. It is anticipated the Council will make a decision on the final bylaw before the end of the year.




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Who to contact

Danielle Endacott,
Engagement Advisor

How the decision is made

  • Decision made

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