Crushed Cars = Streetracing Deterrent?

I read an interesting article today, that talked about the California police department crushing the cars of California street racers as a deterrent to the practice. To be honest, it seemed like a rather wasteful and ineffective solution. I highly doubt that any real street racer is going to be phased by actions such as these. As one of the street racers themselves put it:

“It will never go away,” Maldonado said. “If it’s in your heart, you will continue to do it until you can’t anymore.” – SFGate/AP

I think that statement accurately sums up the mentality I’ve observed of your average street racer. The part about this that puzzles me the most is this: Why crush the cars?

Obviously, such actions do not intimidate hard-core street racers. Many of them have paid the entire value of their cars, several times over, in tickets, insurance and fees, and are still on the road. Many of them could easily get another ride without batting an eye, so depriving the racers of their vehicles would only affect those for whom this is a sporadic sport, or opportunistic racers, who are really not the core of the movement.

My opinion? This is simply a publicity stunt. No more no less. A muscle flexing exercise, the result of a knee-jerk reaction on the part of the authorities to publicly demonstrate some level of resolve about a problem that they obviously have had little success controlling. An incredibly wasteful exercise as well, as the money they could have gotten from selling those vehicles could have been put toward finding better solutions to the problem.

And since when did it become OK for the police to destroy a citizens private property for something as stupid as a misdemeanor offense? The judge that OK’ed this decision really needs to think long and hard about the long term implications about decisions like this, and the kind of power they are putting into the hands of the Police. The police are not a judicial organization. Their job is not to make policy, only to enforce the law. They are single minded in that regard, sometimes even to the detriment of individuals rights, which is why their actions must be regulated by the judicial system, just like every one else…

Car culture meets car crusher as squeeze put on street racing. – [SFGate/AP]


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