Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Speed Kills. Illegal Street Racing Inspired By Hollywood Has Created An Epidemic ? Update 2-16 - by Legal Pub and 3-5 by Colleency


Movies are killing us. Literally. Movies such as The Fast and Furious have created a generation of young adults obsessed with street racing. The story is almost always the same. "Mines faster than yours." "Oh yah? Let's do it." Two lane road, side by side, racing under the moon light. Both shiny convertible Mustangs, one green the other red. One edges out in front of another and then the unthinkable, a car pulls out of a side street or a drive and suddenly there is the need to take evasive action. Sometimes they avoid the other car and instead hit a car or a house. Other times they roll their vehicle. Still other times, it all ends up in flames. But unlike the movies, real life drivers end up dead, paralyzed or severely scarred from burns so as to no longer be recognizable.

Illegal street racing, fueled by movies that glorify the danger, has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. "The Fast and the Furious" has now become a fact of every day life. The adrenalin rush is undesirable. In the case I am aware, both drivers of the mustangs were injured. One a paraplegic and the other with a severe head injury after both cars rolled over.

The internet reveals multiple street racing fatalities and injuries across the country. Often times, the victims are innocent people not involved in the race such as the 60-year-old Bakersfield, California, grandmother killed in an accident with street racers in October or the 15-year-old boy killed in an accident with street racers in Elk Grove, California. The California Highway Patrol claims 697 citations for participating in a "speed contest" in 2006. Those numbers include only highway patrol jurisdictions, not local surface streets where most races occur.

Who are these racers? There are so many, there are even clubs. Bryan C. Harrison, is president of Evo Street Racers. Bryan has a Web site on street racing. Perhaps he will visit Legal Pub and tell us why there should not be more strict punishment for street racing.
In the meantime, there are apparently two types of street races, planned and spontaneous. Spontaneous races typically have no planning and thus absolutely no thought towards safety.

Organized races tend to choose more remote locations with few cars. (There are also typically fewer cops. These races usually involve money and sometimes gambling.) Whether it is a planned race or a spontaneous race, both are illegal. Will education alone stop racing? No, but standard governors on automobiles that limit speed to 75 mph might!

2-16-08 Tragedy strikes again! Accokeek, Maryland has become the scene of carnage allegedly occurring as a by product of a street race. Specifically, a white sedan was not involved in the street race apparently accidentally drove into a crowd of 50 people gathered on a highway to watch two cars racing. Crystal Gaines told the A.P. that "(t)here were just bodies everywhere; it was horrible," Crystal Gaines, 27, learned that her father (William Gaines Sr., age 61) was among the dead. Fortunately, Crystal was able to grab and save her child but could not help her father. Gaines alleges that she did not see headlights on the white car but police apparently have not confirmed that as of this date.

The white car apparently hit people standing on the side of Route 210, according to Prince George's County Police Cpl. Clinton Copeland. A tractor-trailer may have also struck someone on the road as it tried to avoid the crash.
"It's probably one of the worst scenes I've seen...This is a situation that could have been avoided, and it's a very tragic situation," according to Copeland. Victims ranged from their 20s to 60s. Seven people are known to be dead.

3-5-08 Update by Colleency: A drag racing story is on the front page of today's (2-23-08)Washington Post, the lead story headlines: "Cheers to Screams, With Lives Shattered in Between". Long story, telling the stories of some of the 'victims'. One paragraph about the 20-yr. old father of 2, driving on a suspended license. This man drove into the crowd. Not a word - not a single, blessed word - about the racers. (Apparently no spectator at the race offered to provide the name or identity of either racer involved in the illegal race!)


51 comments:

Anonymous said...

As a father of teen agers, I fear they will be died or severely injured in such a crash. My only consolation is that I warn them each night before they get into a car...

victor said...

I like things that go fast because the good things in life never last...



Victor

Ginny said...

Yup, no reason cars need to go faster than 75mph!

Ms Calabaza said...

Seems kids have been doing this kind of stuff for ever but it doesn't help when movies and video games glamorize it.

When our son started to drive we bought him an old tank (Ford Bronco) and prayed for the best. I guess that's all parents can do ~ give good counsel, live by example and PRAY.

Anonymous said...

That is one gutsy racer!

Quote from Cars

blond bombshell said...

Guess this means you won't be fixing my speeding ticket, huh Pubmeister?

Shell

Legal Pub said...

2-16-08 Tragedy strikes again! Accokeek, Maryland has become the scene of carnage allegedly occurring as a by product of a street race. Specifically, a white sedan was not involved in the street race apparently accidentally drove into a crowd of 50 people gathered on a highway to watch two cars racing. Crystal Gaines told the A.P. that "(t)here were just bodies everywhere; it was horrible," Crystal Gaines, 27, learned that her father (William Gaines Sr., age 61) was among the dead. Fortunately, Crystal was able to grab and save her child but could not help her father. Gaines alleges that she did not see headlights on the white car but police apparently have not confirmed that as of this date.

The white car apparently hit people standing on the side of Route 210, according to Prince George's County Police Cpl. Clinton Copeland. A tractor-trailer may have also struck someone on the road as it tried to avoid the crash.
"It's probably one of the worst scenes I've seen...This is a situation that could have been avoided, and it's a very tragic situation," according to Copeland. Victims ranged from their 20s to 60s. Seven people are known to be dead.

Anonymous said...

Silly waste of humanity.

Anonymous said...

My son is obsessed with speed racing. Did I make a mistake all those years playing hot wheels with him on the floor?

Anonymous said...

Steer the young man away from cars and instead to sports. Mike Vick etc role models... on second thought get him interested in girls as soon as you can...


Simon

Anonymous said...

They need to legalize street racing and provide proper supervision and safety measures. Make it a safe regulated sport on a dedicated drag strip.

Legal Pub said...

The drag racing story is on the front page of today's Washington Post, the lead story. Headline: "Cheers to Screams, With Lives Shattered in Between". Long story, telling the stories of some of the 'victims'. One paragraph about the 20-yr. old father of 2, driving on a suspended license, who drove into the crowd. Not a word - not a single, blessed word - about the racers.

Anonymous said...

Illegal drag racing puts a lot of folks at unnecessary risk.

Anonymous said...

Speed does in fact kill!

Anonymous said...

Folks need to grow up.

Anonymous said...

Folks need to grow up.

holly said...

Legal Pub has been so timely in its warnings about Street racing and cold medicine for kids. How the heck do you do it? Keep it up!



Holly

Anonymous said...

Think twice. It does not take a real man to illegally race and put others in danger.

jail bird said...

Nothing good comes from street racing.


Jail bird

Anonymous said...

Hulk Hogan's son Nick was street racing when he severely injured his passenger! Speed racing ruins lives!

Anonymous said...

Hollywood needs to think before they glorify these illegal events and social evils.

Anonymous said...

Nick Hogan needs to think before he opens his mouth again!

Anonymous said...

Nick Hogan and whichever parent signed the financial liability statement may owe a lot of money!

Anonymous said...

I drive a 2006 Pontiac GTO and a 2001 BMW M3, both of which i street race. I have been caught twice in the past 3 years. Ive paid over 5000 dollars in lawyer fees and 2100 in fines. Ive taken defensive driving 3 times. My next ticket will result in 30 days in jail. I'm a marked car in 5 counties. The gov't can do what they want to stop speeders and racers alike, but the truth is- the dedicated few will never quit.

randal said...

Anonymous racer:

Thanks for posting. The racing mentality is definitely present in many. But it is so dangerous to others... My thought is for the government to build legal drag strips and let anyone who signs a waiver race. That way, at least we could isolate the races and protect the public. Would you go for such an idea?


Randal

Anonymous said...

I am one gutsy racer

Anonymous said...

Gutsy street racing will land you in jail or worse, in the morg!

Jay Lee said...

To the author:

Upon your mentioning of Evo Street Racers and a comment you wrote that "Perhaps he (Bryan Harrison) will visit Legal Pub and tell us why there should not be more strict punishment for street racing." I decided to research their official position and found that his organization DOES stand for stricter illegal street racing laws and actually has a plan of implementation too.

Their "About" section has a synopsis with their plan that addresses your comment, I would recommend you to read it when you get a chance. http://www.evostreetracers.com/about.html

Without getting into the details from what I read Evo Street Racers has a four step process that actually sounds comprehensive enough to work: First they to work with the illegal street racers to design racing programs for them at the track, then the second step is community involvement in deterring the problem, third is developing outreach programs to reach the street and allow law enforcement to work with them, and the fourth, once the first three have been put in place, is to lobby for effective legislation. It makes sense, instead of simply lobbying for stricter laws and leaving the street racers to fend for themselves his organization sounds like they care for the illegal street racers enough to provide what the web site states as “viable alternatives to street racing.”

Step Four from his web site:
"Once viable infrastructure and alternatives to illegal street racing are secured in an area Evo Street Racers lobbies for effective and stricter anti-street racing legislation. Weak and poorly enforced street racing laws present the wrong image to our youth and illegal street racers. Weak laws convey the message that communities and political leaders don’t consider illegal street racing dangerous enough to enact laws that would impose significant penalties to the participants."

They have SOOO much info about illegal street racing, check it out http://www.evostreetracers.com

Jay
Detroit, Michigan

Legal Pub said...

Jay, Thanks. Yes it seems Brian and his organization is working in the right direction. We wish him well and hopefully, he will post and share even more ideas.

Anonymous said...

I am a speed freak. My son is a speed freak. We are legend. We shall never quit.

"old"smobile driver said...

Had I been driving...I would have swerved towards the old man. All those old ass people taking up my parking spaces at wal-mart is fucking annoying...

Anonymous said...

Old,

That was just plain cold!

Anonymous said...

This is the only time RACE is ever an issue...

When it is a street race! Speed kills... but oh what a death.

Anonymous said...

Dude,street racing is super-hardcore, super fun, and gets you super pumped. But the fact is, that you are recklessly endangering innocent civilians. If appropriate measures could be taken to preventing deaths of drivers and bystanders i would support street racers. but since these measures haven't been taken, i believe the best solution would be to get off the streets and race at legalized drag strips. To all street racers, take please take this in mind.

real racer said...

Got to have the need for speed to understand us. We race. We ask no one to race or to watch that does not understand their is a risk of injury and death.

We are the real life van diesels of the world.

Anonymous said...

Negative impact on tourism, my @ss! People come out to see us go long after the sidewalks are rolled up for the night.

street racing said...

yea speed does in fact kill

Helen S. said...

Had it not been for Evo Street Racers I can say, for sure, that I would have wrapped my 300zx around a tree. I met a member of their staff, Eric, at a local drag strip as he was explaining why the street is a death trap for racing. I'll never forget when he explained that even if am illegal street racing and I don't crash or cause the other person crash, however, should the other person crash on the their own accord the law in most states will find me partially responsible! Crazy thought... I dont know how good or bad the people are on the street that I used to race. What if they suck and just plow into a tree during a turn and I might go to jail because they suck at driving! NO FREAKING way.. i quit street racing right there.

Legal Pub said...

Good point Helen. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

It isn't just that a street racer risks his own life. It's that it puts spectators and innocent folks in jeopardy.

Brent said...

The only reason why you hate racers is because I do about 130mph before I get your mom up the ass.

Anonymous said...

Brent, it is because you risk the lives of others. Risking your own life is one thing. Quite another to take an innocent life.

Anonymous said...

Come on Brent, you give racers a bad name when you talk sh!t.

Brent said...

What makes you think we want a good name. Real racers don't have emotions. Were just narcissistic sons of bitches. So deal with the repercussions or get the fuck off of our playground. 8========D~~

Anonymous said...

Brent, I am a racer and as a fellow racer (if you really are) you disgust me.

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

One of the factors why teenagers triggered to join street racing is because of the media. We can't blame those movies or programs that show car racing, because it is just a form of entertainment. But teenagers want to explore everything and try what they saw on TV. With that, parents should give them proper guidance and discipline.

As parents, we want safety for our children. I have 2 children. My eldest son is 9 years old and my younger son is 7 years old. We can't predict when an accident might come our way, especially when we're on the road with our family. With that, I never miss car check with my trusted auto repair in Indianapolis to avoid engine troubles. If ever you notice a problem in your car engine, it is better to quickly contact an auto service (Indianapolis) so they could see to the problem.

Legal Eagle 3 said...

We will let you keep your post because you were creative. Normally advertising is not allowed.

Anonymous said...

Every day ordinary people are at risk because of bad drivers. Are the risks any higher with competent street racers controlling the night roadways? I suspect not.

Anonymous said...

street racing, is not stret racing, if its on a drag strip

Anonymous said...

Racing on a real street is a killa