It’s not an uncommon sight. Two vehicles line-up at a streetlight, one challenges
the other, and once the green light appears they take off as fast as they know how.
Illegal street racing is not a new thing. It’s been going on ever since the days of the
Model T Ford. Over the years, speeds have increased and with the advent of cell
phones and GPS systems, so has the technology. But the consequences of these
careless actions have never changed. Thousands of accidents occur each year due to
thoughtless, aggressive driving on our streets. But the trend continues to grow.
Movies like The Fast and The Furious have helped to spread the virtues of street
racing. Movies like these don’t show innocent victims getting hurt, but rather they
portray the characters as misunderstood good guys who have a passion for cars. It’s
easy to see how young people are able to accept the notion that street racing
doesn’t hurt anyone when everything they see in movies confirms it. Videos of
illegal street races are downloaded off the web at a growing rate only to fuel the
desires of those who are unable to see the dangers in it.
Racing is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s an exciting sport that requires training,
discipline and skill. But the streets are no place for racing. Unfortunately, any young
person (the majority are young) can get into their car, mash the throttle and drive.
No experience, no talent, no discipline. All of this while innocent drivers use the
streets for their day-to-day activities.
So what are the solutions. Racing on our streets will never stop, but it can be
reduced. What needs to be understood is that street racing is a social activity.
People gather in a parking lot, hang out with friends, challenge someone to a race,
and come back to the same parking lot once the race is over. Some cities
recognized this and have opened drag strips for people to race, socialize and
interact. For a small fee, they can prove themselves in a safe, supervised
environment. This is also a great way to integrate local police with the participants.
In order to reduce racing on our streets, local authorities need to control it. Larger
fines won’t reduce street racing. Hundreds of people have died racing on the streets
in this country and if the possibility of death doesn’t stop someone, a fine won’t
In the end we need to understand that the only way to reduce street racing is to
provide an outlet for which it can occur. Until then, the masses will do what they
know; they’ll continue to race on our streets.