February 9, 2009
Reckless Endangerment or Street Racing?
One well known fact is that teens, males in particular, like to drive at higher speeds, sometimes resulting in street racing. It is a big problem and causes deaths all over the United States and tragedy to many families. Some people say cracking down on teens by way of police force is how to solve the epidemic. Others, such as Denver Post columnist Leonard Sax, and San Diego State University professor Stephen Bender, believe it would be wise to institute a supervised street racing program for teens. What both sides are trying to achieve is a lowered death rate of young teenagers looking for a little thrill. One side wants to have a bigger crackdown on street racers. The Denver Post article supports programs against such racers. The Los Angeles Police Department has implemented the tactic of confiscating supped-up racing cars to prevent their use in street racing; and Denver wants to copy the idea. The author suggests the other side’s solution: supervised, legal, track racing (Authorities.) Presenting another idea, Leonard Sax and Stephen Bender have supported and started, respectively, RaceLegal. RaceLegal is a supervised racing event at San Diego Stadium. On Friday nights teenage boys and young men get together and do drag racing on the four-laned, one-eighth mile track (Leonard.) According to Sax’s article, similar programs have begun in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Muncie, Indiana. In Noble, Oklahoma they are mimicking Bender’s idea. A fifteen dollar admission gets you into Thunder Valley Raceway Park to see or participate in “Beat the Heat.” This program takes a different twist, with participants racing in their own cars against local cops in their cop cruisers (Leonard.) Sax claims that education to stop teens isn’t helping stop the “epidemic,” as Bender refers to it, but may actually catalyze it. Teenage boys like to do what they’ve been told is too dangerous to...