A tragedy recently near Washington, D.C., is a reminder of the terrible risks taken by those who turn public streets and highways into racetracks.
Eight men were killed in an accident in Prince George’s County, Md., when a car went out of control and slammed into a crowd of people gathered to watch an illegal street race. Though the car involved was not part of the race, police say the accident appears to have occurred because of the illegal activity.
Street racing seems to come and go as a fad, with the current generation of movies and computer games probably adding to the illicit practice’s popularity. Too many young people — and some old enough to know better — don’t stop to realize that racing scenes shot for movies require professional drivers, special equipment, and lots of “takes” to get them right. When something goes wrong in a street race, there is no re-shoot available to restore the damaged and sometimes lost lives that result from mistakes.
We encourage area law enforcement agencies and judges to be very, very tough on would-be street racers. We urge parents to monitor how the vehicles driven by sons and daughters are being used. And once again, we plead with those tempted to race on streets and highways to remember that even a minor error can have a tragic, “game over” ending.