Street racing is no sport, just a dangerous crime

They may be fast, but we’re furious.

This new street racing craze that has captured the attention of some young people in our area — and across the country — is hardly an innocent, awe-shucks pastime. Forget those 1950s and ’60s movies with the poodle skirt and sweater set clad girl standing between two hot rods and excitedly waving her arms to signal "Go." This fad needs its engine killed before the driver can put pedal to the metal.

Street-racing supporters who claim this is a sport are wrong. Racing on a track is a sport. Racing on a street you think is void of traffic with dozens of young people hanging around is reckless. The potential for tragedy should be quite evident to anyone involved. Drivers and passengers could be killed or injured. Cars that weren’t there a second ago could suddenly appear from around the bend or a hidden driveway, putting innocent drivers and passengers at risk. Bystanders could be hit by racing cars, too.

This should all be common sense. It should be the first thing that comes to mind when adrenaline-packed teens and young adults gather to race. Of course, it’s not. And people too dense to weigh such consequences are too dense to be behind the wheel at all.

It doesn’t matter if those involved are nice young kids who don’t do drugs and just need a fun hobby on Fridays and Saturdays. If that’s the case, they can go to a race track and learn how to drive fast there. They cannot use our public streets and put other lives at risk just to soothe their boredom.

In a period of two months several young people have died in such racing incidents. Last week a 16-year-old Yakima girl was killed during a street race. The drivers of both cars involved were arrested for investigation of vehicular homicide. What sport has such severe criminal consequences?

And in Florida, a young man racing a car struck another car and killed his own mother and her elderly passenger as they were out looking at Christmas lights.

The city of Everett is looking at passing an ordinance making it illegal to be in an area where these types of races are occurring — the racing itself is already illegal. Council members shouldn’t hesitate to pass the proposal and give law enforcement the measures they need to keep dangerous drivers off our streets. Knowingly putting innocent drivers at risk is akin to drunken driving. Offenders should receive the stiffest penalties possible.

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