Hoons, a strange old word and a word I’ve been hearing a lot of since moving to Australia.
Hoon is an Australian and New Zealand colloquial term applied to normally young individuals who typically drive fast and dangerously. The term is also used as a verb: “to hoon” or “to hoon around”, meaning to act in a reckless or otherwise pretty stupid manner.
Although you won’t find hoons around every corner, you will often find evidence of hooning, normally in the form of burnt rubber left behind when the hoons undertake one of their more favourite activities of doing donuts.
So whats with the random picture of a sunny Australian suburb Mark?
The picture I’ve associated with this post (click thumbnail for a larger image) was taken near our house this morning. The actually skid mark was created about two weeks ago.
I was just getting ready when I heard a high performance motor drive past our house. Well, I say high performance but its pretty standard down under.
Many of the motors in Australia have huge engines and can be heard from quite some distance away. For young Australians, bigger is often better so many won’t even consider a car unless its got an engine over four litres in size, many of which are bought only days after they have past their driving tests!
Judging by the rumble I reckon this particular motor was well over 4 Litres and the driver wasn’t out for a late Sunday morning saunter either .
What does the guy do? He slows down to a stop. revs his engine for several seconds until there’s almost fire coming out of the quad exhaust pipe at the back, then takes off in a cloud of smoke leaving about 10 metres of black rubber behind him.
It’s like nothing I ever saw back in the UK although I’m sure the huge residential streets help contribute towards some of this hoonage.
You’ll very rarely find yourself having to do a three point turn on any residential street in Australia and it’s this huge width of the roads and general overall space you’ll find here that I think leads to the false sense of security and general daft behaviour.
Since living in Kinross we’ve also heard hoons racing. Not on our streets but pretty nearby and when travelling through the estate its evident, by the sheer mass of black rubber on the ground that the hoons have been at play.
The signature ‘burnt black rubber’ that the hoons leave behind does have its uses though.
As we get nearer and nearer to finding an area where we eventually want to settle down and buy our own house the signs of hoonage help us to disqualify some of these spots.
I guess at the end of the day, the houses, the suburbs and the gardens look great but if you’re kept awake by hoons doing their stuff at 2am then your perfect house may all of a sudden appear a little less….well, perfect!
Now don’t get me wrong. Hoons are not wide spread all across Australia and you’ll only find small pockets of them in certain suburbs down under but for me, they just seem more common over here then they were in West Yorkshire, perhaps there are only so many donuts you can do in a 1.0 ltr Vauxhall Nova :) !
Western Australia Police (and police in other states) have recently been given the power to confiscate hoons cars if they are caught in the act.
Whether or not this will improve things and reduce hoon activity then time will only tell but it’s pretty high profile issue for th elocal governments at the moment and I recon it’s only a matter of time before things get sorted.