Curbing Street Racing

Street racing has grown into a dangerous activity across the country, killing thousands on the roads. Quickly becoming an issue for the safety of everyone on Panhandle roads as well.

The street racing tradition dates back to the 1950's and since then things have changed.  Hundreds of racers and innocent bystanders have been hurt or killed on Amarillo roadways.

Corporal Tom Bushek takes on the extra assignment of keeping Amarillo streets safe on the weekend. He is part of the Randall County sheriff's SOBER program looking out for underage drinking and illegal street racing.  "We're out working looking for violations we're focused on certain violations and certain offenses. Not only are they dangerous to themselves, but other people so we try to help the city of Amarillo with those situations," Cpl. Bushek said.

Corporal Bushek has had a few run-ins with local street racing situations. "We got 5 cars that were racing they were on Bell. I wanna say they were south of 45th Street coming north. We were southbound and we turned on them. There were 5 cars I think we pulled 3 over 2 of them eluded us. They we're all young kids 16 17 years old," Cpl. Bushek explains.

More than third of all teen drivers admit to engaging in street racing, according to a recent insurance study.  It's typically done on deserted side streets, but some racers find the only option is on main streets and that's where authorities will be.

Spokesperson Danny Alexander with the Randall County Sheriff's Department says deputies are out working deligebntly to deter speeding street racers and all the things that come along with it, in an effort to keep that number down. "During street racing you want to make presence known you want to be a deterrent and have the marked units out to keep that down," Alexander said.

City and street ordinances have been changed to enforce harsher penalties for those who race and those who watch. Those caught street racing can pay fines of more than a thousand dollars, have their car impounded and driver's license taken away.