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Street Racing

Facts About Street Racing
Illegal street racing has become a pressing problem for cities and counties throughout the United States. Street racing was glorified in 1973 with George Lucas's "American Graffiti" and in 2001 with "The Fast and the Furious" and its 2003 sequel. But long after premieres and box office tallies have come and gone, officials across the country continue to wage war against the love for speed, the chase, and a rush of adrenaline. Teens are not the only ones who participate in street racing, and racing is just one factor - including speeding, drinking, and error - in teen fatalities each year. The number of fatalities of teens involving speed - including driving too fast for conditions, in excess of the limit, or racing - has crept up in recent years. Forty-five percent of fatalities for teen drivers ages 16 to 20 involved speed in 2003, up from 43 percent in 1999, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Read more National Statistics here > >

Why is Street Racing Risky?
Illegal street racing activity continues to advance in popularity, especially among young adults. Nationally, illegal street racing is claiming hundreds of lives and injuring thousands annually. Illegal street races are notorious for being poorly controlled and randomly organized. They also operate with a minimum of rules and safety measures. New communicative technology such as websites, cell phones and underground publications as well as a new generation with more free time, financial resources and a passion for speed has significantly heightened the risk for both participants and bystanders. Officials say inexperience behind the wheel often plays a role, but so does risky behavior and bad judgment.

Why is Street Racing Popular With Young People?
As with all high-risk behaviors, there are multiple reasons why youth are attracted to illegal street racing. Young offenders are often quoted about the excitement that surrounds these loosely organized street racing events; the thrill of competition, high stakes wagering, "something to do" on any given night, their lack of awareness of any community-based legally organized track racing alternative, the low risk of being apprehended, and "it won't happen to me" attitude, and an automobile based "social culture" of young adults. The fact that there are multiple causes underlying the escalation of illegal street racing in our community calls for a comprehensive multiple intervention strategy which is designed to directly address illegal street racing in an across the board fashion.

Street Racing in San Diego
As recently as 2002, San Diego County was no exception to this highly dangerous youth oriented risk-taking behavior. During 2002, San Diego suffered the devastation of 16 fatalities and 31 serious injuries as a direct result of illegal street racing activity. When these 2002 data were converted to a combined mortality/morbidity incidence rate, we were faced with the fact that for every 1,000 young people who choose to illegal street race in our community, 49 were either killed or seriously injured. A rate of that magnitude was properly defined as epidemic in nature. Read more National Statistics here > >

In 2003, the city of San Diego was among the first to implement a system that allows for the permanent seizure of a vehicle used for street racing. Vehicles will be permanently seized where the offenders have prior convictions for a serious driving offence.(39) . With grant money, the San Diego Police Department established a full-time unit called Dragnet whose sole purpose has been fighting drag racing. They also pushed the City Council to make watching drag races a crime and forfeiture of a car the possible punishment for racing. The city of Los Angeles soon followed San Diego’s example, and also prosecutes street racing spectators, who are committing a misdemeanor.

Penalties for Street Racing
In California, a conviction for street racing is punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 a minimum of 30 days and maximum of 6 months imprisonment, or both. If it is a second or subsequent offense and serious bodily injury occurs, the jail time is increased to a maximum of one year. In addition, the vehicle in question may be impounded for 30 days, and a prohibition on driving may be imposed for up to six months. Moreover, a person who aids or abets any activity associated with street racing is guilty of a misdemeanor. The city of Fremont, California, has gone so far as to ban all traffic between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on certain roads popular with street racers. Spectators’ vehicles, as well as participants’ vehicles, may be seized by the police.

A Safe Alternative - RaceLegal.com Racing Program
The RaceLegal.com “Code 4 Racing Program” was conceived and is operated by San Diego Police Department officers Mark McCullough and Scott Thompson to assist with re-directing young people from participating in illegal street racing activity to the fun, safer and sanctioned alternative of legal track racing. In addition, the importance of “buckling up” and strictly adhering to “0 tolerance” guidelines are also emphasized by the off-duty police officers.

The San Diego “Code 4 Racing Program” emphasizes the safety message of “Cops and Racers”. SDPD officers McCullough and Thompson are an important component of all RaceLegal.com Qualcomm Stadium based 1/8 mile drag racing events. This exciting non-traditional approach of having off-duty police officers racing along side young drag race participants provides a unique opportunity for interaction and relationship building. This setting gives both the police officers and the young participants a forum to learn from one another what potentially can make a difference for both groups within our community.

All races take place on the west side parking lot portion of Qualcomm Stadium:

Friday Night Event Hours:
- Gate and tech open at 6:00 PM sharp.
- Racing begins 6:30 PM.
- Tech closes at 10:30 PM.
- Racing ends at 12:00 AM.
 
Saturday/Sunday Day Event Hours:
- Gate and tech open at 11:00 AM sharp.
- Racing begins no later than 12:00 Noon.
- Tech closes at 3:45 PM.
- Racing ends at 5:00 PM.
- Trophies awarded at 5:00 PM.

For more information about RaceLegal.com, please visit their website at http://www.racelegal.com/


Some information on this page has been extracted from the following online resources:
Governors Highway Safety Association and RaceLegal.com


DISCUSS THIS TOPIC IN OUR FORUM
What do you think about street racing? Do you think it's risky? Have you ever participated in or watched a street race? Do you know anyone who was hurt at a street race? Do you think street racing should be legal?
Discuss these questions and opinions in the Street Racing Forum



OTHER TEEN CHALLENGES
* Peer Pressure & Bullying * Street Racing * Unlicensed Driving
* Reckless Driving * Drinking and Driving * Unprotected Sex
* Imitating Extreme Sports or Stunts * Trying to Fit In * Rebellious Urges
* Hanging Out with the “Wrong Crowd” * Internet Predators * Drugs and Alcohol
* Sneaking Out of the House  
 
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ONLINE ARTICLES & RESOURCES


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IN THE NEWS

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* Street Racing Murder Case

* Driver Killed In Street Race

* Take It To The Tracks

* Governor Signs Illegal
Street Racing Measure


* My Dumb Decision

* Woman in Wheelchair
Killed During Street Race


* No Winners in Deadly
Street Race


* 2 Killed, 4 Injured

* Plano Teen Killed
In Crash


* Witnesses Recount
Gruesome Accident


* Street Race Crash Nearly
Splits Car In Half


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STREET RACING 411
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* A Study On Street Racing

* California Highway Patrol

* CA DMV Vehicle Code:
Vehicle Impoundment

 
* Speed Contest California

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STAYING SAFE
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* California Speedway

* Racers Against
Street Racing


* Race At Qualcomm Stadium - RaceLegal.com

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IN MEMORY OF

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* Cortney Hensley

* Parees Ghassemian

* Andrew Gene Collins
 

 

Purchase S.T.A.A.R bracelelts and t-shirts! This page was last updated on November 13, 2006
 
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