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UK County Bans Automotive Enthusiast Gatherings
Nottinghamshire, UK issues the first-ever countywide ban on gatherings of automotive enthusiasts.

Lotus enthusiast gathering
Around the world, owners of individual car makes from lowliest economy models to the most exotic Ferraris and Lamborghinis regularly get together to share experiences and sometimes take brief drives in the countryside. Doing so anywhere in Nottinghamshire, UK is now an offense that carries two years imprisonment and a large fine following the issuance of a Nottingham County Court order earlier this month.

"There is a small element of 'cruisers' who do actually just want to show off their cars to others," Nottinghamshire Police Sergeant James Oliver said. "But this unfortunately has been ruined by the majority who have plagued our town with their poor driving standards and excessive noise. I hope this injunction will help us deliver our promise to those affected that we would tackle this problem."

Located in the East Midlands region, Nottinghamshire has about one million residents. The order is the first to apply to an entire county and prohibits "five or more motor vehicles from congregating together, driving in convoy or racing each other on the highway." It remains in effect until June 2009. Nottingham City imposed a less restrictive ban in October 2006.

Police plan to monitor closed-circuit TV cameras to ensure no gatherings occur. On June 13, county spy cameras spotted three teenagers enjoying themselves in Sidings by taking turns riding a motorbike. Police called to the scene found that although the owner was insured, the two other teens who took brief rides were not. Police seized the vehicle and demanded payment of £200 (US $400) for its return. Officers also issued a £80 (US $160) fine to the owner for using "abusive language."

On June 15, police seized and crushed a motor scooter belonging to a teenager who had been riding in Broxtowe Country Park.

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