The Portland Medium
The Portland Police Bureau, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police have joined forces to stop illegal street racing events. These coordinated operations are designed specifically for the task of catching drivers who speed through public streets and pose an extreme threat to onlookers.
The three agencies involved with this plan hope that by working together they can capture more motor vehicle criminals before tragedy strikes.
There is a new ordinance with specific language to create more education programs and public outreach. Lawmakers wanted to send a message on the dangers of street racing. Major figures differ on penalties for those with multiple violations. The ordinance provides a chance for first-time offenders to diversion if they go through an education program.
For many, street racing is an outlet for their passion. It can be about winning or losing money but most of all it’s just a big adrenaline rush.
The term “racing for pink slips” comes from when this practice became popular in which participants would bet on who could get the other person’s car—sometimes even involving violence if things got out of control with gambling.
Under the new law, a citation for an unlawful street takeover can result in a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
The American street-racing tradition dates back to the 1950s, and has long been a staple of Hollywood movies. However it’s not until “The Fast And The Furious” was released in 2001 that this old Southern California pastime became mainstream; with its’ breakout hit grossing nearly $80 million in ten days at the boxoffice.
Street racing can be a spontaneous, solo event or well-planned and coordinated. One common type of street race is the one that takes place in an uncrowded highway on city outskirts – this form tends to draw less attention from law enforcement.
The second most popular location for organized races isn’t out-of town but instead within larger cities themselves with some of these contests happening in large city streets and industrial complexes.
Street racing are exciting events. It’s not uncommon for communities to form around these events, providing social interaction between participants. The chance for accidents however is high. In addition, other types of criminal activities happen at these events from assaults to drug use and underage alcohol consumption. Noise violations, skid marks and street takeovers can interrupt the enjoyment of the community for law abiding citizens. This is what has caused the callaboration of law enforcement in Oregon. Also, the penalty seems a bit minor considering the chance for auto fatalities. Still, law enforcement have their work cut out for them if they expect zero street racing events on city streets.