ORLANDO, Fla. — A video shows a huge crowd of people gathered in Orlando to watch drag racing.
The Orlando Police Department has been going after street racers for nearly a decade now, but the battle is seemingly stuck in first gear.
Captain Jonathan Bigelow said street racing is ridiculously risky.
“Utter stupidity. It’s utter carelessness. It’s utter recklessness,” Bigelow said. “Look at the crowd there, any misstep of that vehicle sliding in the wrong direction. You’re taking out 30 people.”
The video was captured in early June at TPC and National Drive.
Another huge crowd gathered back in March.
“We’re seeing a lot of it because they want to get likes on social media. They’re filming their reckless behavior. They’re posting it,” Bigelow said.
Bigelow said once the police show up, the street racers speed off, endangering everyday drivers.
“They can’t react in time or causing an accident. We’ve had accidents caused by racing, resulting in death,” he said.
The racers are also putting officers in danger.
“A lot of times, it becomes an officer safety issue, where it’s one or two officers against 50 to 100 dirt bikes or ATVs,” Bigelow said.
He said the trouble goes beyond just the drag racing.
“They’re carrying guns and they’re carrying drugs. We do our best to target these criminals to hold them accountable to take them to jail,” Bigelow said.
Bigelow said police officers are not backing down and will continue to be out in the streets trying to put a stop to this.
“It’s unfortunate that as we see more accidents and those accidents often result in serious injury or death that these individuals doing this racing realize this is just not worth it,” Bigelow said.
Police said they are seeing an uptick in unauthorized dirt bikes and ATVs on the roads.
They advise the public to call 911 if they see an unauthorized vehicle or anyone street racing.
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