Illegal street racers don’t have to put others at risk

Picture: iStock

Road racers practice their craft where others certainly can be harmed.

Some serious performance car enthusiasts will vehemently disagree with this opinion piece.

Sadly, they will be people who share this writer’s ideas about fast cars and the fact that such cars should, where possible, be raced.

We love the fact that car owners from time to time have enough passion to channel funds and knowledge into the pursuit of awesome performance from road vehicles.

It gives us pleasure to see a challenge between something like an Italian Supercar and a Golf – with the Golf winning.

But we have a problem when this kind of confrontation happens on a public road.

The issue of illegal street drag racing attracted attention recently, when a Cape Town BMW M3 owner crashed his vehicle at high speed during a race and lost his legs as a consequence.

The media came alive, with the incident portrayed in various ways. Traffic authorities naturally said that high speeds are the main reason for our horrific road toll.

They ignored – again – that bad or drunk drivers in slow vehicles kill many more other road users than the occasional high speed offender.

Sadly, the street racers then weighed in on social media. They said the crash would not deter them from road racing.

They added that the actual competition is just part of the fun – doing it under the police radar providing them with the real thrill.

Living dangerously makes them feel really alive, they said – and we have no problem with that. What risks you take with your own life is your affair. I can say that with authority.

I have held the Guinness World Record for Riding a Motorcycle through a Tunnel of Fire since 2012.

It is a possibly lethal activity, and I would vehemently oppose anybody who said I should not be allowed to do it. But,

I do it where others cannot get injured.

Road racers practice their craft where others certainly can be harmed.

Thing is, in Gauteng both the Tarlton Drag Strip and Rock Raceway offer their facilities to road car racers.

The Rock runs 200m racing every Wednesday and Tarlton offers full, 400m racing with pukka starting lights the first Friday of every month.

Neither venue interferes with competitors much – you must be sober, wear a crash helmet and be alone in the car.

You can challenge whoever you wish to dice and race as many times as you want.

Surely that is better than running the risk of killing another road user, not part of your game?

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