Archive for the 'Street Racing' Category

18
Nov
07

More car crushing idiocy…

It would appear that Australia is taking a page from Californias law book of senseless and excessive practices:

Street racers in Australia will soon see their beloved cars being deliberately smashed by the authorities in videos posted on the Internet.

The often flashy, souped-up vehicles will be wrecked in crash tests under laboratory conditions, the New South Wales state government announced. – [Yahoo/AFP]

Now I’m sure some of you out there are thinking “Serves them right!”, but I assure you, this law is not a good thing. There is a reason this hasn’t been done in the past. This is technically a violation of an individuals rights. When convicted killers go to prison, even they do not have their belongings destroyed. They may be confiscated and cataloged, but they get them back when they get out. If they get out.

So how exactly can anyone think that this is a fair penalty for any lesser crime? I’d rather impose this penalty for drunk drivers, rather than street racers. At least the street racers are actually in full control of their faculties, and some of them (let me iterate the *some*) are actually really good drivers. The same cannot be said for drunks. But the kicker is that ultimately, as a deterrent, it wouldn’t work for that either.

These kinds of knee-jerk, intimidation-based legislative decisions set very dangerous precedents that could have very profound future ramifications. And to top it off, it’s not like this is going to deter anyone from street racing anyway. Most of the folks who street race will do it regardless of the penalties. Literally. These laws are little more than public displays to make others feel like something is being done about the problem, when in fact, it will have little effect on any hard core racers.

However to their credit, the Australians have adopted a better use for the vehicles than just crushing them. They will be used for crash tests. Which is orders of magnitude better than Californias pointless “crush ’em all” solution. But both laws are seriously troublesome. The law will have to be very specific on what constitutes “street racing”, and even then I’m sure many police officers will still abuse it, much like how the “aggressive driving” box is seemingly checked on tickets at will, as opposed to, let’s say, the tickets of drivers who actually meet the legal definition of “aggressive driving”…

Aussie street racers to see cars crashed by govt – [Yahoo/AFP]

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28
Jun
07

Stop The Press!! We Got Speeders!!

I ran into this little news gem earlier today:

The Washington State Patrol says a trooper arrested two men speeding 141 mph on I-5 in Snohomish County. The patrol says the trooper thought he was hearing an airplane early Sunday as the cars whizzed by going north, a 2005 BMW 330i with a 2007 Honda Accord right behind. – [Yahoo/AP]

OK, Here’s my question. Why, exactly is this news? Was it the speed? Were the cars violating some heretofore unknown laws of physics? Are cars physically not supposed to be able to move that fast? Were the drivers too young? What? Is there some point about this particular reckless driving case that makes it so terribly different from the gazillion other instances of speeding that occur in the united states on a daily basis, that it needs news coverage?

Drivers arrested for speeding at 141 mph – [Yahoo/AP]

24
Jun
07

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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