A new idea from the man of new ideas (sometimes unrealistic), Morris Iemma.
“He who drives his car, in manner that reflects his small appendage, shall have his car taken away from him, and crashed and crushed at an RTA crash lab.”.
Brilliant thinking Morris. Very brilliant. What do you think you will acheive here? Let’s have a think.
1. Will more than likely see such activities drop to some extent, due to fear of losing expensive car.
2. May have a result of high speed pursuits involving police officers.
3. Ignores the real solution to such a problem, but, goes closer to helping realise it.
The first point is the result of a complete drop by some participants in illegal street racing (or alledged ‘hooning’) by making the stakes too high.
Many in the focus group are not financially well off, if they were, they’d be too intelligent to put their own lives and those of others in danger in the first place.
The second point is a more critical one. Should someone get chased by police, and they know they will nearly certainly have their cars crashed and destroyed, with no restitution (so, might as well as call it a $15,000+ fine), are likely to try and evade the police. This will mean a high speed pursuit endangering other members of the community.
So, a bad choice, but then, the problem has to be tackled one way or another, and unfortunately, tackling it means that there is an increased likelihood of them trying to avoid prosecution. Tougher penalties will nearly always result in trying to find loopholes out of it, or in this instance, ways to evade prosecution – ie. out race the police.
The third point, the solution, is one which requires the most focus, and thinking like this can indeed contribute to the overall solution.
The problem? Racers and speed freaks – let’s just call them braindead idiots for now – want to race their cars, and burn their dollars at a ridiculous rate.
There is no facilities available to many, that fit in with the current lifestyle of some participants. Let’s assume they are uni students (heh, hard to believe, I know), so they work to live, and have to study, etc, so time isn’t available to travel extended distances to reach a facility for this form of ‘entertainment’ – or whatever term you wish to give the sport of trying to endanger your own and others lives.
So, with no facilities available, that afford the uni students the ability to try and put the limits of gravity, the speed of light, the speed of sound, etc to the test, they are apparently left with little alternatives but to resort to the street.
Now, being in a position of decider in the issue, you really would only have to come down to two choices.
How do we work with the community to outlaw it completely.
How do we work with the community to participate in it safely.
First comes outlawing it. Once its outlawed and rage has spewed out from the smaller equipped folk, they will hopefully get enough intelligence to present their cause to a local community, and muster up enough funding to then seek council and community approval for a purpose built facility in the area for them to have some serious fun.
It’s got some commercial value though. You charge an admission fee to the drivers for maintenance of the track, you charge the bystanders who like to watch the crap admission fees for what possible entertainment they do get from it.
You profit. You maintain the track, the expansion continues to other communities.
That is a solution to the problem.
The first step to creating that solution however, is demonstrating to a high level that the penalties for such crimes are high, and the only legal way to do it is on private property – perhaps in controlled environments, but the law doesn’t state that.
Get all participants to sign waivers. If they hurt themselves, their cars, etc. So what. You were going to do that on the public road anyway, and possibly hurt others.
It’s a perfect solution, it’s feasible, as I predict the companies that sell high performance parts make dollars off the purchasers, and so a bit of sponsorship goes a long way, as does the fees from the drivers for burning up the track, and the possibility of racing in this form being more publicly accepted, and increasing revenue by simply charging those who wish to see it.
A very sound offer. Has sure fire insurance out clauses (waiver on entry). Removes the danger to the general public.
So, at this moment, we can commend Morris on his spectacular thinking and start of the bigger solution. Assuming of course, he isn’t just a dumb politician who thinks simply crushing cars will solve the problem. Because it won’t. You need to first demonstrate the high costs (and risks) of doing such crimes on the street, and then allowing alternatives to facilitate it. Otherwise you are going to be employing more police faster than you can say 000, and you’ll be wiping more egg off your face than a badly tossed omelette.
The costs of setting up such a facility seriously couldn’t be too extreme. Tyre walls, with concrete slams backing them, tar for the track, security to prevent any unauthorized access, and the long term you will profit from the entertainment that others are getting, and if a high performance parts manufacturer got in on it, increased profits from sales, due to increased demand for both, the entertainment (now legal, more interest attracted), and from sale of high performance parts for those entering.