PHOENIX

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NORTH­ERN Drive has be­come a hot spot for il­le­gal drag rac­ing in Phoenix.

From Fri­day night through to Satur­day, young­sters can be heard and seen lin­ing up to race near the Shell garage.

This goes on un­til the early hours of the morn­ing or un­til the po­lice ar­rive.

“Over the years, there have been many deaths due to high speed and il­le­gal street rac­ing along North­ern Drive,” said Viky Januk of Ac­cimed Paramedics

“Motorists want to test out their ve­hi­cle’s speed and try out what they see in movies like The Fast and Fu­ri­ous.”

Try­ing to stop the rac­ers, he said, worked tem­po­rar­ily. They just find another street to go to.

Januk be­lieves rac­ers and speed­ing motorists need to be ed­u­cated about the risks of their ac­tions, es­pe­cially in res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

“They need to un­der­stand they are en­dan­ger­ing their lives and the lives of in­no­cent peo­ple.”

Another way for­ward, he sug­gested, was to in­stall speed break­ers.

Januk said the most heart­break­ing part of his job was coun­selling par­ents who lost chil­dren due to rac­ing.

The chair­man of the Phoenix com­mu­nity polic­ing fo­rum, Umesh Singh, said they were in­un­dated with calls from the com­mu­nity about drag rac­ing, es­pe­cially on North­ern Drive.

“These mat­ters have been dis­cussed with the var­i­ous role-play­ers at our meet­ings and a multi-pronged ap­proach to end drag rac­ing is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.”

He con­tin­ued: “A spe­cial re­quest to mem­bers of the com­mu­nity is not to sup­port these il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties by be­com­ing spec­ta­tors.”

A Northcroft fa­ther of two, who wished to re­main anony­mous, said he lived near a rac­ing hot spot and he and his fam­ily strug­gled to get a good night’s rest.

“These young­sters rev their en­gines and it sounds like they are about to crash. We can­not sleep from 11pm to 2am. To add to this, those watch­ing the race scream and shout caus­ing even more dis­tur­bance.”

The 31-year-old said he had com­plained to the Phoenix po­lice sta­tion and on some nights a pa­trol van was dis­patched, while on other nights no one came.

“I was once told it was Metro Po­lice’s is­sue. I called Metro and was in­stead told to send a writ­ten com­plaint de­spite ex­plain­ing the se­ri­ous­ness of the is­sue.”

Rac­ing in a sub­urb, he said, was dan­ger­ous.

“These cul­prits are en­dan­ger­ing the lives of peo­ple and need to face the con­se­quences. We can­not wait for some­thing se­ri­ous to hap­pen and then take ac­tion.”

North­ern Drive is no­to­ri­ous for drag rac­ing. BE­LOW: The head of Ac­cimed Paramedics, Viky Januk, talks about the num­ber of ac­ci­dents along the road.

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