Net closes in on drag racers

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pretoria - The newly launched National Traffic Intervention Unit will join forces with the Department of Justice and Asset Forfeiture Unit in finding a possible way of impounding illegal racer's cars.

This comes after three people died last night after taking part in an illegal drag race in Pretoria.

Every year, a number of participants and spectators are killed when individuals use private cars on public roads as racing venues. 

This happens around the country and law enforcement agencies are concerned about the increase in these activities.

The race meetings on Voortrekker Road, Gezina in Pretoria, are well known to the authorities and a number of sting operations in the past has seen these races merely being moved from one place to another or being cooled off for a while, only to resurface later. 

"This is a game of cat-and-mouse. These guys in their highly-tuned vehicles using illegal, go-fast substances such as nitrous oxide, attract huge crowds, including women and children and have braais and drink openly in public," said Collins Letsoalo, acting CEO of the Road Traffic Management Corporation.

The race meetings are highly organized and involve betting and large sums of prize money.

"We are on to them and will continue to close them down as we did in Midrand and Randburg. We have joined forces with a number of agencies including provincial traffic, Metro Police, the SAPS and Military police to thwart them," said Letsoalo.

"We need to deal with this cancer comprehensively and decisively. We cannot continue to utilise scarce resources chasing after a bunch of spoilt and arrogant hooligans who misbehave and endanger their own lives and the lives of innocent people.

"We also want to condemn communities who are in support of and participating in this kind of race meetings. We need to take back our streets and save these chaps from themselves."

Also on the radar of traffic authorities are drunken super-bikers, who travel at high speeds, overtaking on barrier lines, with no registration plates and generally behaving badly. 

Members of the public are requested to report any drag racing activity to 071 680 3448. All tip-offs will be treated confidentially. - BuaNews 

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