While driving through downtown Dallas Sunday night, Isaac Maynard suddenly hit standstill traffic on westbound Woodall Rodgers Freeway.
He said he didn’t see any emergency lights up ahead or any sign of a wreck.
Later, he saw a post shared on social media about illegal street stunts shutting down several lanes of the freeway and realized he was in the same traffic jam.
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“Just trying to get to where you're trying to get to and, bam, you’re stuck in traffic,” said Maynard. “These kids want to stop the freeway. I guess they want to have fun. I get it, but not everybody wants to have fun like that.”
Austin DeBerry recorded video as he waited in a line of cars to exit Woodall Rodgers Freeway. He didn’t have a clear view of what was happening, but in the video, you can hear multiple tires squealing.
“The whole tunnel was just full of smoke from the tire burnouts,” said DeBerry.
Dallas Police said a call came in about multiple vehicles speeding and racing on Woodall Rodgers at around 8:45 Sunday night. The department said officers responded and reported they didn’t find an offense.
Earlier this year, the city council passed an ordinance to set tougher punishments for street racers and spectators. But, police would have to catch them and witnesses have told NBC 5 participants simply race away when police arrive.
The Dallas Police Department has a racing and speeding task force in operation.
During a busy weekend between October 3 and 4, police data showed the Southwest Patrol Street Racing Task Force responded to 48 racing calls, made 26 arrests and issued 101 tickets related to racing. NBC 5 reported that in one incident in Oak Cliff near the intersection of Hampton Road and Davis Street, officers reported observing about 100 vehicles gathered in that area.
Sunday night, DeBerry said he was stuck in traffic for about 20 minutes.
“If one of the cars that were stuck in the traffic was in an emergency, no vehicles could've gotten to it, they couldn't have gotten out anywhere. It's naturally unsafe, but it didn't really inconvenience me,” DeBerry told NBC 5.
Maynard said he, too, is worried about emergency help being slowed because of street stunts.
“Go somewhere else. I feel like they need a location where they can just do this freely,” said Maynard. “A far out location where they can not cause traffic.”