DIY rev-heads make residents’ lives a misery
NARROW streets and Port Beach’s foreshore have made Fremantle the hot spot for a new generation of bog-lappers, whose DIY is taking their chariots to the next level of growl.
But as more Freo residents say they are fed up with the ear-splitting noise echoing between the buildings (“Rev rev,” Herald letters, February 26, 2022), it appears police have turned a deaf ear to the problem.
Subaru Melville mechanic Simon Wells says he’s noticed an increase of “zooted up” four-wheel drives and high-performance cars on the streets of Fremantle, but reckons fewer people are asking his workshop to do these modifications.
“What’s happening is young kids now have money, are buying old performances cars and cheaply modd-ing them themselves such as removing the muffler or DPF,” Mr Wells said.
He noted the thousands of tutorials on platforms like YouTube teaching car owners how to turn their mum-mobile into a WRX sound-alike.
A quick Google search of “muffler delete” returns 812,000 YouTube tutorials and “DPF removal” 128,000 tutorials.
Amazingly, removing the muffler on a car is not illegal in WA if you can keep the noise down some other way, however removing the DPF (diesel particulate filter) which makes a louder noise is against the law.
WA Police said they’d only really step in for a repeat offender who was easily identifiable by being at the same place regularly.
“While the focus of traffic patrols and traffic enforcement activity across the state remain the key casual factors of serious and fatal crashes, where needed targeted enforcement activities relating to unnecessarily noisy vehicles may be considered where there is evidence such activity is causing a significant and ongoing detriment to residents and/or businesses,” a spokesperson for WA Police said.
“If a pattern to the timing and locations can be shown, it would make it easier to justify the deployment of police resources away from their primary duties.”
Fremantle resident Mirjana Matic has lived near the corner of High and Ord streets for nearly 25 years and says the last year has been a nightmare because of revheads.
She says the cars crank up around 3pm and roar past midnight most days, the noise literally shaking her house. As a result she hasn’t had a good night’s sleep for months and says the tiredness is affecting her mental health.
She’s also got high blood pressure for the first time in her life, while she believes the noise is partly responsible for another neighbour’s recent hospitalisation.
“He gave up,” she said.
“His daughter said she did bring it up with the cops and told them what’s going on, and she said nobody replied.”
Ms Matic said a neighbouring mum with two kids repeatedly tried to warn police the cars were speeding past crossings used by John Curtin and CBC students.
They all got a similar response to the Herald.
“They told me no resources; that’s what the sergeant told me,” Ms Matic said.
“I went there and I said ‘I want to see the guy in charge’ and I waited maybe half an hour.”
Ms Matic said as the traffic thins out in the early hours of the morning many revheads were simply ignoring the red light at the corner of High and Ord streets.
Daniela’s elderly father Carlo and cousin Mia live near Monument Hill and she says the family wants the council to slow the traffic to 40kmh or put in speed humps.
“Traffic is travelling extremely fast for a road neighbouring two schools (both John Curtin and CBC) as well as a park,” Daniela said.
“The lights on the corner of East and High streets can have vehicles travelling too fast when the lights are green.
“The City of Fremantle has a duty of care to manage this situation.”
Another resident, who didn’t want to be named, said the opening of the High Street/Leach Highway roundabout had also fuelled the problem.
“Saturday October 1 was particularly bad at around 9.30pm and all four members of my family commented that after going to bed we could hear them racing for a long time,” she said.
One local hotrod enthusiast, who didn’t want to be named, admitted he’d removed his Nissan GQ Patrol’s muffler at home using YouTube tutorials.
He also has illegal tyres, an illegal lift, no muffler and no sway bars – something that should make him a magnet for police.
“I’ve been breath-oed by a copper in my car and they didn’t sticker me,” he said.
Why the modifications?
“Cause it sounds good,” he said.
And why Freo?
“The way the buildings line the streets make the exhaust noise echo and rebound, making them sound louder, which appeals to some people.”
One YouTuber proudly showing off his mods bragged that his mates “can hear me coming a mile off – so can everyone else”.
The local DIY modder said he’d driven past any number of police cars and never got a backward look, but the police spokesperson said if they did notice illegal modifications they might take action.
“Any detected breach of this vehicle standard may result in police issuing a defect notice to a vehicle, requiring it to be inspected by a Department of Transport vehicle assessor for roadworthiness,” he said.
by ISABELLA HOLLAND and STEVE GRANT