Underground street racing isn’t just featured in movies like The Fast and the Furious — a covert racing culture already exists on our city streets, according to Calgary police.
City council debates the future of Race City Speedway this week, and with some voicing concern the closure will result in fast and furious drivers causing havoc on city streets, police say racers are already going head-to-head in isolated parts of the city.
“(Having Race City) doesn’t mean street racing is erased from the city. There is a culture of underground street racing and impromptu street races do occur,” police spokesperson Kevin Brookwell said, adding the participants may spread the word by social media such as Facebook or texting.
Brookwell said police have already conducted three special projects where they target and break up illegal street races by using “proactive disruption.”
“They’re usually in industrial areas and newer areas where there isn’t a lot of traffic. Police and HAWCS will show up and everyone scatters away. It still goes on, even with Race City.”
Ald. Ric McIver is putting forward a motion to extend the lease of the racing venue for another five years to allow law-abiding car enthusiasts a place to legally race their cars.
“I think we know there is already a small problem of street racing, but my concern is that problem will be compounded if people are inclined to turn to the streets,” McIver said.
“How much worse would the problem get, how many deaths and injuries? I don’t want to know.”