police launched a crackdown on the growing problem of illegal
drag racing on city streets Sunday morning, swooping down on
two race gatherings in the city's southeast to check, tag or
tow hundreds of people and vehicles.
Numerous impaired driving charges were laid and at least 50
summonses were issued to vehicle owners for equipment
infractions and illegal modifications.
The busiest of the illegal drag racing sites is an area know
as the Golden Triangle - an industrial zone on 50th Ave. west
of 52nd Street leading to Ogden Rd.
The man leading the police sweep, Sgt. Bob Bond, said the rise
in illegal drag racing mirrors a phenomenon sweeping the
United States and, besides being against the law, is a
potential recipe for disaster.
"Every major American city is having street races, and as you
can see, most of these vehicles are high-performance vehicles
that can attain speeds of 150 to 200 kilometres an hour," said
"They are racing up and down this roadway in between the semis
and other traffic that drives here," he added.
Bond said that had the meets gone undeterred by police, it
would only be a matter of time before there was a tradgedy.
"They're dangerous," said Bond. "Three weeks ago, we had a
serious accident which could have ended as a fatality.
We have witnessed several other accidents because we have had
our people infiltrate the races."
The not-so-impromptu racing matches are increasinly popular
and often attract several hundred participants and spectators,
Bond said, adding that the police are committed to stemming
"Or," he said, "it's going to be a long hot summer."
Although street racing has been around likely as long as
motorized vehicles have, police here say they are becoming
more prevalent - and organized.
"They get flagmen in the middle of the road, line the cars up
two-by-two and they race. They head eastbound to the
railway tracks and race back," said Bond, adding that every
Friday and Saturday night recently the races have attracted
audiences of up to 400 people.
He said most of the people attending the races are drinking -
and 50th avenue was awash in empty beer bottles and cans and a
variety of hard liquor containers early Sunday as testament to
"Not only are the spectators drinking, but so are the drivers.
Just tonite, we towed a couple of vehicles because of impaired
drivers. We have also written probably 50 summonses for
equipment violations," said Bond.
Several summonses were issued to vehicle owners operating cars
fuelled by potent nitrous oxide.
"Lots of these vehicles should not even be on the streets of
Calgary, but that's what a lot of these people do. They work
on their cars all week and then bring them out here on the
weekend to race. We can't tolerate it. We have laws."
Police hit two locations Saturday night. The second is a spot
on Barlow Trail SW - also in the industrial park - where
police only wrote about 15 summonses.