Street racing is far from a new problem in Dallas but police say growing social media and spectator attention is making it worse.
“They don’t think about the consequences, they don’t think about what can happen to them,” said Sgt. Chris Barzyk, who works on Dallas’ Speed Task Force.
So far this year, Dallas Police said they have issued over 9000 citations and another 35 to spectators. But current statistics do not separate street racing deaths and injuries from other accidents, making it difficult to understand its full toll.
“We have had accidents in which these racers are killed, also they have injured or killed innocent citizens here in Dallas,” said Barzyk.
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In South Dallas, only a few blocks from the office of City Councilman Tennell Atkins, street racing has become a weekly occurrence.
“You would never know that someone is racing down this street right here,” said Atkins, pointing to photos of tire marks he took that morning.
Atkins praised the efforts of police but said street racers have become increasingly sophisticated and police often have their hands full.
“We’ve got a major problem,” said Atkins.
Sgt. Barzyk said the department is committed to combating street racing, which is a priority two call but officers are often busy on the night’s street racing is most likely to occur, which he said dictates how quickly they can respond.
“Those emergency calls have to be answered first and it depends upon the call load,” said Barzyk.
If there is anything that is clear, both Atkins and Barzyk agree, it’s that street racing is here to stay and will only fully stop when there is a public will to report it.
“The bottom line is it needs to cease because it does affect a lot of people,” said Barzyk.