Should Street Racing Become Legal?

Published on May 20, 2020 in News by Guillaume Rivard

With all the pandemic-related lockdowns, our roads and streets have been far less busy lately, prompting many reckless drivers to hold illegal races or try all sorts of risky manoeuvres.

A few days ago, 44 individuals were arrested and 114 tickets were handed by law enforcement in the Atlanta area as part of a major crackdown.

Of course, the problem is nothing new and can be found in most large cities across North America. The example of Atlanta is making headlines for another reason, mind you.

City officials are indeed considering a plan to make street racing legal by setting up a designated space. Those who love to do burnouts and donuts would be allowed, as well.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms got the idea from her 18-year-old son and now the city has teamed up with Bloomberg Associates (a consulting agency started by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg) to find the best and safest way to make it a reality.

Authorities in Detroit experimented with police-sanctioned sideshows earlier this year (pictured below). The cities of Sacramento and Kansas City have reportedly discussed setting up a designated spot, as well.

Photo: YouTube

For sure, there would be a number of benefits, such as preventing drivers from illegally blocking streets, having some control over these types of gatherings and eliminating many accidents that may or may not involve other road users.

But who would be in charge of surveillance? What kind of logistics would be needed? What will local residents think of all the noise? Where will the money come from? These questions and more need answers.

Also, it’s highly unlikely that having a designated spot would completely solve the problem. Part of the thrill for street racers actually comes from the fact it’s illegal and underground.

What’s more, drivers who wish to push their cars to the limit and burn some rubber already have drag strips and other race tracks they can go to, although most of them are located away from downtowns.

What do you think? Do you have some other solutions? Feel free to comment below.

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