Yesterday at 7:18AM I was awakened by a phone call. Trouble. At least I thought. Who would be calling me that early in the morning. The call was from CBC News Radio. They wanted my two cents on the street racing incident regarding thirteen high-end sport cars that happened the previous afternoon.
I participated in a live phone interview at 8:10AM together with RCMP superintendent Norm Gaumont. Later that day, Leah Hendry of CBC TV News further interviewed me for the CBC Evening News. Here is the CBC Evening News video link (feature starts about 6 minutes into the newscast).
One of the associations I work with is RTR – Resist The Race, which is a group dedicated to educating youth about the dangers of street racing and excessive speed. Originally it was set up with the Richmond RCMP, but this year it has become a not-for-profit society. We would focus on the education aspect, the RCMP would focus on the enforcement.
Anyways to the main story. On August 31, 2011, around 3:30PM a group of thirteen cars were spotted street racing from the George Massey Tunnel area towards White Rock. The drivers of these vehicles we new drivers (some with “N” novice and “L” Learners decals) aged from eighteen to twenty. Surrey RCMP were able to catch these drivers and have fined them for excessive speed and have impounded their vehicles for seven days. Police are looking to pursue further charges and permanently seizing these vehicles. These are not ordinary vehicles either. Below is the list of vehicles (Source: CBC.ca).
This still boggles my mind. Street racing in broad daylight? During our peak commute time? What could be going on through the brains of these drivers? Now street racing at any time of day or night is dangerous; even organized motorsport events pose many threats and dangers, but with all the added vehicles on the road, how does that even make any sense. Public endangerment obviously means nothing to these drivers; did they think they were invincible?
How does one at their age obtain these vehicles? Apparently only one of the thirteen cars was being driven by the registered owner. Speculation points to these vehicles being owned by the parents and just driven whether knowingly or unknowingly by their offspring, or parents simply purchasing the vehicles as a gift for these young adults. Whatever the case, these vehicles cost six figures a piece.
One of my concerns was how fast some of these vehicles are. Most vehicles on the road today take anywhere from eight to twelve seconds to reach a highway speed of 100KM/H. Some of these vehicles can reach that speed in about three seconds. Why would any parent want their inexperienced teens and young adults to drive cars with that much power? Not only does it pose a danger to public safety but also to their own children.
To parents I send out this message. Make informed decisions in the selection of vehicles for your children to drive. At a young age and inexperience, their safety should come first and foremost. Comfort, style, prestige and other such considerations should be a distant second.
A message to driving instructors, teach discipline. Please take a lesson from martial arts instructors. Most teach discipline and respect first then skill. Don’t teach people how to operate a vehicle, truly teach them to drive.
My message to drivers is that driving fast is fun. But before you stop reading; it needs to done in a safe and organized environment. All it takes is one mistake or unplanned moment to cause a serious crash that can cause serious injury and even death. Driving is not a right. It is a privilege. It requires discipline and it requires the respect of others.
Finally here is a short list of groups and venues that you can visit or join to get the most out of you and your vehicle. Though proper instruction and practice, you can become a better driver, and through these experiences, I hope you can get the thrills or driving out of your system, so that you can drive in a safe manner on the streets.
*If you know of others in the area that should be added to this list, please comment below with their name and website. Thanks!