Increased Street Racing Endangers Drivers Amid Pandemic

Increased Street Racing Endangers Drivers Amid Pandemic

( – Street races aren’t anything new. The pastime has been immortalized on the silver screen through classic movies like Devil on Wheels (1947), American Graffiti (1973), and The Cannonball Run (1981). The Fast and the Furious franchise raked in nearly $6 billion in earnings, with a 9th movie planned for release in 2021, making it the 7th highest-grossing movie series of all time.

However, in real life, the Associated Press reported that street racing has surged across the country in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Millions of people got trapped at home due to quarantines, curfews, and other restrictions, giving them ample time to work on their hotrods.

Additionally, interstates and other major roadways were emptied due to the pandemic, making it an ideal opportunity to hit the streets. However, several fatalities have resulted due to the increase in street racing. Sadly, innocent people, including young children, have fallen victim to the dangerous pastime.

Several states and municipalities are pushing back against street racers to shut it down.

Cities and States Push Back Against Street Races

Crowded New York City was hit hard by the street racing scene, with authorities receiving hundreds of complaints. State Sen. Brad Hoylman (D) introduced a bill authorizing Big Apple officials to use its speed cameras after hours and on weekends to help reduce the activity. The bill is pending a floor vote in the state assembly.

Arizona’s state Senate recently passed legislation imposing harsh penalties on street racers. It awaits a vote in the state House of Representatives. Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill last week mandating a minimum of 10 days in jail for anyone convicted of a crime related to street racing. Anyone convicted for a third offense within a five-year period must automatically forfeit their vehicle.

Several other states and municipal governments are debating new legislation and other methods to crack down on street racing. As the old saying goes, “Speed kills!”

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