Motorists were seen around Eden Park on the night of the prom. Video / supplied
The arrival of students at a prom last weekend was overtaken by hoons of blaring music driving on car roofs and bonnets and hanging out of windows.
Students who arrived at the Westlake Girls prom at Eden Park on Saturday were dragged into the chaos with a bus driver unable to maneuver safely to the drop-off zone and forced to let students further out.
The Herald received video footage of the chaos outside Eden Park on Saturday, which police have described as reckless.
The party bus driver, who sent the footage taken by a colleague on her bus, said she was taking about 40 boys and girls to the Westlake Girls ball in Eden Park the following night when her bus suddenly turned up at about 30 cars. Sandringham Rd.
“They rushed past me with people on the hoods of cars, on the roofs of cars, driving and cutting really dangerous for me,” said the driver, who declined to be named.
When she got stuck “super duper”, she jumped out of the bus to ask what they were doing. She was told that the car’s occupants were on their way to the ball – and to “piss on”.
“It was quite an aggressive atmosphere, so I thought I should just shut up and get back on the bus.”
The driver could not safely maneuver the double-decker bus to the drop-off point, so he had to leave the students further away from the entrance with a guard.
“I was scared. All these girls and boys in beautiful outfits had to walk through all this chaos.”
The news comes as Eden Park announced it would no longer accept prom bookings after residents complained about loud stereos, spinning cars and motorcycles, and a traffic jam around the Sandringham Rd entrance when students arrived for the Auckland Girls Grammar School prom on Friday.
Police confirmed that they also received complaints about noise and driving on Saturday night.
A Westlake Girls spokeswoman said the cars were not linked to the school and no one was late to the prom and no complaints or concerns had been filed with the school.
She said the students’ behavior was “exemplary” and they were proud of their behavior.
It comes as one limo owner in Auckland described a dangerous new prom trend that saw huge convoys of cars blaring music blocking limousine intersections as they “escort” students to the venue while people ride on the hood or hang out the windows .
However, the Westlake Girls spokeswoman said this was not the case at the prom.
The limo company owner, who also asked not to be identified, said he and his drivers noticed the new “trend” about a year ago.
In December, he was driving to a prom at the Ellerslie Convention Center in a limousine when one of the students asked him to stop at a gas station.
A car arrived and the driver said to the student “they are all lined up”.
The limo continued on its way, finding at least 20 cars ready to “guide” them to the ball.
“They are basically creating their own escort,” he said. “I got on the highway and then I had about 20 cars surrounding me and basically guiding me through.
“They tried to turn the lights off so I could go through traffic lights without stopping – of course I don’t.
“The music is so loud in their cars that people are hanging from the sunroofs and windows. It’s just a huge circus.”
He compared the experience to The Fast and The Furious movies with cars blocking all lanes behind and around him on the highway, so no one else could pass and try to close intersections.
He said as they approached the convention center, passengers were riding on the hoods of cars and sitting on the rear windows with their hulls all the way out of the car.
“The risk is just huge,” he said. “All it takes is a moment of bad judgment or a bad habit from another driver and it can wipe them out. It can have absolutely serious consequences for those who play silly buggers.”
He said he and his drivers had experienced the same thing about half a dozen times in the past year, and considered sending pilot vehicles with dash cams to track his drivers if they had ball bookings.
“Our vehicles cost a fortune and we have to make sure there are no crazy buggers,” he said. “The safety of my drivers is paramount.”
Inspector George Fanamanu, manager of Auckland City Road Policing, said on both Friday and Saturday nights that police received a number of complaints about excessive noise and dangerous driving.
“Police are disappointed with the behavior displayed by a number of abusive vehicles. In many cases it was reckless and could have resulted in serious injury.”
He said agents were sent to “monitor the situation” after the complaints were received and they tried to identify the people and cars involved as they considered follow-up action.
Fanamanu said the behavior was “concerning,” although police were unaware that it was becoming a trend in high school balls.
With more school balls scheduled this weekend, police said they had no intention of attending the sites, but would recheck and respond to concerns and complaints.
He asked those with information or videos of last weekend’s antics to report to the police at 105 and encouraged people to report reckless driving to the police as soon as possible.
• An earlier version of the article linked Westlake Girls students to images of people driving cars. That was not the case. The Herald apologizes for the mistake.