By Jack Sinclair
Street racing has been popular for over twenty years. Street racing is when people race their cars spontaneously at red lights or at a pre-planned areas, sometimes called a ‘quarter mile’. No matter where or when these races happen, they’re always dangerous and they often get people killed, as was the case with Chris.
Street racing is now illegal in Canada and you can get as much as a life sentence for participating if it should lead to death. It may not sound like a fair sentence to some people who think of street racing as just another way to have a good time. However, the facts is, street racing is a very dangerous sport and if it continues unpunished a lot more kids are going to die because of it.
It’s hard to ignore something as dangerous and seemingly exciting as street racing when it’s constantly being glorified in movies and video games. Movies like The Fast and the Furious show street racing as a cool lifestyle with limited risks. Games like Need for Speed or Midnight Club emphasize the speed and excitement that street racing can offer kids who want to practice their fast-driving skills without access to a professional race track.
Chris Henderson was only 17 years old when his life was taken from him because of street racing. I’ll bet like many other kids, he thought that it could never happen to him. Teenagers have this faulty tendency to believe that they are unstoppable and invincible which leads them to take more risks. The thing about risks is that are smart risks and stupid risks and there is a big difference between the two. I think taking healthy risks allows you to accomplish new things and discover new things about yourself and the things around you. A stupid risk can get you paralysed, hurt or even killed.
Maybe it’s just because I’m not really into the whole car thing, but to me street racing seems like a bit of a stupid risk. When there’s so much that can go wrong and there has been so much evidence in the past of kids being killed or hurt by doing it I don’t see why it keeps happening.
If you really have a need for speed and get a real rush from driving fast and drag racing then find a proper place to do it. There’s nothing wrong with perusing what you want to do and following through with it, just be safe about it. Often larger cities have closed courses or professional racetracks that allow amateurs to race. Join a car club and get your need for speed out safely rather than putting your life, and the lives of others, on the line.