Police put brakes on the fast and the furious

Police put brakes on the fast and the furious

Police put brakes on the fast and the furious


With the judiciacy seized of the danger posed to human life by the hazardous sport, an elaborate programme is underway at the police headquarters, if not to put an end to drag racing, to at least shift the “tracks” -- some of Bangalore’s prime streets -- outside the city’s limits.

Drag bikers, who fully reaslise they have chosen to expose themselves to danger, will continue to experience the addictive adrenaline rush. But they will now be free to be fast and furious in the fringe areas of the city. The police’s endeavour to curb drag racing follows a flood of complaints which focused on the life-endangering speed that some bikes and cars pick up in the dead of night.

Speaking to the Deccan Herald, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic and Security) Praveen Sood said his force had to intervene because of a series of complaints against drag racing on M G Road, Cubbon Road, Airport Road and Inner Ring Road.

“After a thorough study, teams were formed to nab drag racers. Over the past few weeks, nine cars and 17 bikes were detainedand/or impounded.”

He informed that almost all the drag bikers would engage in high-speed stunts like wheelie, back wheelie, dragging, stoppie, burnout and drifts. In nearly all the cases, the bikers, mostly in their late teens or early 20s, were under the influence of alcohol or banned drugs.

Although drag racing is a hazardous sport, the police realise that riders love it and there is no way they can put a complete stop to it. So a unique method is being sought to be applied to minimise the dangers and the attendant consequences. The complaints and the subsequent inquiries revealed that sons of some politicians, bureaucrats and technocrats were involved in drag racing. “But that did not prevent us from sensitising the parents,” said Sood.

Another means employed was to prevent modification of the vehicles, including cars and two-wheelers (not scooters). Besides, the police have begun an intensive operation to keep watch over mechanics who modify the cars and bikes to make them “race and speed worthy”. If they are found to take up modification jobs, they would be promptly booked.

The police have and will continue to take written submissions from parents who will have to clearly state that they would take all responsbility in the event of life-threatening accidents.

Recently, five Assamese youth were caught drag biking. Their landlords were called over to the local police stations and urged to “drive sense into their tenants' heads”. “The landlords were told in no uncertain terms that if the tenants did not pay heed to their advice, they should be asked to vacate the premises,” police sources said.

The drag bikers not just wear their attitude but also display it. Sharath, who lives life on the fast lane, confessed: “It's an addiction. We are well connected via net/texting and shift tracks every weekend. Airport Road (in front of Command Hospital) and Cubbon Road are the most preferred stretches. We would be active between midnight and 3 am. Betting would be heavy and accidents frequent.”

While the police are firm on pushing the sport outside the city limits, some drag bikers whose were impounded are running from pillar to post to get them released. That is surely quite a drag.

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