On street racers

Along with the rise in the rice car following is the returning popularity of street racing. The definition of street racing is in the words, racing done on public roads. This racing is not only illegal, it's dangerous to life and property and is also a waste of law enforcement's time.

Street racing first gained popularity in the late 1950s when the likes of James Dean glorified it on the big screen. This was also due in part to the muscle car era and teenagers grasping onto the idea of speed. Since back in that day racing was a more specialized sport and not very easily had these teens would take their muscle cars to remote roads to race each other. Generally this was just a sprint in a straight line, or drag race. Most of these cars were not able to handle cornering and other aspects of racing just yet. The popularity of street racing never really dwindled, but people grew out of the activity over time.

The recent renaissance of import tuner cars has led to a new following for street racing. Now kids get together on streets outside of cities that sometimes are busy but they're too lazy to take it any further out of town. This is dangerous and disrespectful of other drivers. They don't seem to care though. All they want to do is feel the rush of illegal racing like all their similarly low-functioning friends. This is more of a problem in the U.S. than it is in England and Europe. Driving here is a privilege which can easily be taken away whereas many people in the U.S. believe driving is a right. This is only part of the problem however. What I'm amazed with is even though this activity is utterly dangerous since most of the cars that participate are not really suited for racing but the drivers don't seem to take much in precautions when they do it. I've never seen helmets worn during these races, and sometimes drivers don't even buckle their seat belts! I guess this is Darwin's doing and thus should be respected.

My biggest problem with street racing is when it overflows onto busy streets. One rice car pulls up along side another rice car and the two exchange heated glances. Swarms of invisible bumblebees then descend on them out of nowhere making a harsh noise to add to the silly scene. The two then tear off as soon as the light turns green, and sometimes even before that. This is initiated by massive front-wheel burnouts and not much steering control. The two cars hurtle themselves through traffic, weaving around the slower ones to keep up with their rival. With any luck it will soon be over and the two will go on there way without anything much happening. Sometimes these idiots run into cars they're trying to evade. Worse case they kill someone with their stupid escapade, and even then it still isn't good enough for them. They continue to endanger lives like this. The police can only do so much to keep them from doing this. They have to fight angry parents who often defend their children when they pull stupid stunts like this and end up in jail and their car impounded. It can't keep going on. We can't just hope that all the street racers will do themselves in. Some get lucky and survive a while. But what can we do other that call the police when we see it happening?

Why aren't these kids taking their cars to legitimate racing events? There are such thing happening almost everywhere in the world. They can join a sanctioned racing club and get discounts on track time near where they live. Not only that but they can learn to respect other drivers and earn respect of those same drivers. Why do they insist on aggravating others by doing what they do on the streets where it shouldn't be allowed? Some of them do only race at sanctioned events, and they tend to be a lot more together than their illegal street racing counterparts. These are unfortunately the minority. Hopefully in the future this won't be the case. I'm not trying to keep these kids from trying to have a good time, I'm trying to keep innocent people alive and unharmed. The closest I come to street racing is beating up on some of the local ricers by spanking their cars off the line. I'll run my car right up to the speed limit and let them blow by. I already know I won, whether the other guy likes it or not he knows I won, I don't need to prove anything by breaking the law. If the only reason the street racers do what they do is to prove their worth as a good driver then they should try doing so at the track. Hopefully I'll see you there!

~Ed

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