Okay, I can tell from the outset that this is going to be one of those posts where you either say "What is this guy on?" or "Yeah, he's got that right". Let's find out.
Street racing is the vice of 18 year olds everywhere. Let's face it, when you first got your licence, who didn't push their luck a little on that dark 2 lane road with no traffic? I certainly did. And my car was an Alfa 156, meaning I had a significant chance of the thing falling apart before I hit 100mph. (Obviously I never sped Mr. Officer, and I was always mindful of the limit yada yada yada).
As The Fast and The Furious franchise has proven, racing, and more specifically Japanese Imports, have become hugely popular within the modification scene. That isn't to say that other nationalities aren't fairly represented, but I had to pick one, and Civics and 240s are where it's at when you still can't grow a beard.
"V-TEC just kicked in yo" etc...
The argument is not whether modifying your car is a good idea, or whether it isn't.
The argument is whether racing on the public streets is a bad idea. Obviously I'm not speaking of doing 150mph+ through rush hour traffic, and I know this debate was broached when Afroduck was recently arrested/ shared on the Jalopnik main page.
Now, near to where I live (read at the end of my street) there's a road numbered/lettered the A666 (confidence inspiring, I know). If I turn left and drive along it for 2 minutes I end up on a 50MPH posted road, surrounded by nothing but fields and dry stone walls. It's really pretty, but at night also really quiet.
Now, this road has only minor streetlights for the first 0.5 miles approx. I grew up in this town, with this road, and my grandparents live the other side of this road. I have travelled it maybe 5,000 times.
That suggests to me that I know the layout of the road, and so on. Because of that, I would assume that I know the road reasonably well, and in saying that I would also say that the 50MPH speed limit is overly cautious. I can take this road at approx. 100mph. Again, I'm not saying I would but it is possible to do so, with even a rudimentary knowledge of the layout.
It may seem that I have digressed and I have, but there's a point.
And my point is this: For every teenager in his Civic taking reckless risks, there's a hard working, responsible man or woman that puts genuine love and care into modifying their car and running it in an environment they know, and within safe limits.
These are people that have not been driving for 5 minutes, but for a number of years, and because they push it on back roads and roads that are perfectly straight with zero traffic with a couple of their friends they are apparently Satan.
That doesn't make them unsafe, or irresponsible. Despite what the mass media tries to peddle. (This was displayed on Jalop a few days ago with the Canadian speed limit video so I won't get into it)
What it says is that given the road conditions and traffic levels they have made a responsible decision to hit the gas and pick their speed up. Again, sight lines permitting it is not necessarily unsafe. The unsafe part comes when you have an inexperienced driver make a bad call, when they don't have enough information to make a decision.
With that in mind, having a 4 lane highways and a number of modified cars is not an unsafe proposition. A modified vehicle can stick to the speed limit just like Grandma's Buick. All it takes is an awareness of the vehicle.
So, with that in mind, what's the issue with doing 100mph on a deserted highway, after evaluating road conditions and sightlines etc.?
Then we evaluate main streets. Again, if the road is properly evaluated and sealed, what's the issue? By sealed I'm talking vehicles part across the entries of cross-streets, so that no vehicles can pull into the lanes of traffic.
Street racing is not dangerous in my mind, it's the poor decisions of inexperienced drivers that are the danger.
Let me know what you think.