Dear Editor: Lessons about hazards of drag racing must begin now

Check it Out!
February 26, 2007
Yvonne Cuneo
March 1, 2007

The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission is encouraging parents and law enforcement officials to educate young drivers about the dangers of drag racing in the streets.

This dangerous behavior typically involve two or more vehicles speeding through city streets in an attempt to outdistance each other, exhibit speed or compare power of acceleration.

This illicit activity has been made to look glamorous in pop culture. Recent youth-oriented movies have glorified drag racing in the streets with depictions of fast cars and young people engaging in daring driving antics.

According to a recent study by the federal government, these films have played a role in turning some teenage drivers on to the idea of drag racing.

Street racing is prevalent in California and along the West Coast. Trends from the west have a way of eventually reaching us in Louisiana.

Last year, in Lafayette, four people were killed in a speed-related crash in which officials cited street racing and speed as possible causes.

Tragic incidents such as these are needless occurrences.

Parents, make sure your children are aware of the dangers of street racing. Law enforcement agencies, we need to keep an eye out for this type of behavior. Vehicle crashes are already the No. 1 cause of death for young people. Let’s not let it get worse.

James E. Champagne

Executive Director, Dept. of Public Safety and Corrections