Back Home  
Late Breaking News... Calgary, Alberta - Canada
From the Calgary Sun - June 22, 2001

From the Calgary Herald - June 11, 2001

Police put brakes on drag racing

Charges laid
as high-speed
problem grows

Mickey Dumont
Calgary Herald

    Calgary 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 Bond.

        "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 the trend.

        "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 his statement.

        "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.


  Back Home