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Reckless Endangerment or Street Racing? Essay

Alex Larson February 9, 2009 Writing 122 Reckless Endangerment or Street Racing? One well known fact is that teens, males in particular, like to drive at higher speeds, sometimes resulting in street racing. It is a big problem and causes deaths all over the United States and tragedy to many families. Some people say cracking down on teens by way of police force is how to solve the epidemic. Others, such as Denver Post columnist Leonard Sax, and San Diego State University professor Stephen Bender, believe it would be wise to institute a supervised street racing program for teens.

What both sides are trying to achieve is a lowered death rate of young teenagers looking for a little thrill. One side wants to have a bigger crackdown on street racers. The Denver Post article supports programs against such racers. The Los Angeles Police Department has implemented the tactic of confiscating supped-up racing cars to prevent their use in street racing; and Denver wants to copy the idea. The author suggests the other side’s solution: supervised, legal, track racing (Authorities. ) Presenting another idea, Leonard Sax and Stephen Bender have supported and started, respectively, RaceLegal.

RaceLegal is a supervised racing event at San Diego Stadium. On Friday nights teenage boys and young men get together and do drag racing on the four-laned, one-eighth mile track (Leonard. ) According to Sax’s article, similar programs have begun in Atlanta, Las Vegas, and Muncie, Indiana. In Noble, Oklahoma they are mimicking Bender’s idea. A fifteen dollar admission gets you into Thunder Valley Raceway Park to see or participate in “Beat the Heat. ” This program takes a different twist, with participants racing in their own cars against local cops in their cop cruisers (Leonard. Sax claims that education to stop teens isn’t helping stop the “epidemic,” as Bender refers to it, but may actually catalyze it. Teenage boys like to do what they’ve been told is too dangerous to do, so naturally speeding when told not to, is the result. He believes allowing legal racing will calm teens down on public roads (Leonard. ) Both sides do have good programs to prevent untimely deaths. Taking racing teens off the road or taking their cars away would solve the problem. However, being one of those eighteen year-olds with a red sports ar and a bit of a lead foot, I would respond much better to moving my activity off the public road to a track than being pulled over for being a teen with a fast car. The ability to race elsewhere would definitely stop me from driving as fast on public streets. A legal racing league seems to be a well accepted idea; the Denver Post article, which talks about implementing police action, even alludes to the implication of such a program; just their idea tweaks it so that teens are not allowed to race, which kind of defeats the purpose and doesn’t complete the objective at hand, which is solving the teen street racing epidemic.

Works Cited Denver Post. “Authorities Should Stop Teens from Engaging in Street Racing. ” Opposing Viewpoints: Cars in America. Ed. Andrea C. Nakaya. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Rogue Community College Library. 10 Feb. 2009 http://ezproxy. roguecc. edu:2080/ovrc/. Leonard Sax. “Teens Should Be Encouraged to Participate in Supervised Street Racing. ” Opposing Viewpoints: Cars in America. Ed. Andrea C. Nakaya. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Gale. Rogue Community College Library. 10 Feb. 2009 http://ezproxy. roguecc. edu:2080/ovrc/

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