It’s time to push back against this dangerous, irresponsible culture.
Pretty much everyone can agree that the explosion in crime throughout 2020 is more than tiresome. From climbing car theft rates to senseless violence, it seems like everyone’s on edge these days. To make matters worse, there’s an increasing trend of street takeovers by criminals who want to do burnouts, drift, etc. while injuring innocent bystanders.
We absolutely love cars and love having fun behind the wheel. At the same time we drive on public roads with our children and other loved ones. Both of these facts make it so we have to take a stand against the growing trend of street takeovers in different cities across the United States. It’s a problem that’s been around for a long time, but we’ve had enough.
Check out this video of a street takeover in Atlanta. Warning: language.
Real enthusiasts don’t participate in street takeovers and we’re tired of the way media outlets, politicians, and others portray it as a problem attached to the hobby. True car enthusiasts have a healthy understanding and respect for the potentially destructive nature of their vehicle. We take precautions, which is why every track will inspect a vehicle for proper safety equipment before giving the OK to race.
One hotbed for this street takeover trend has been Atlanta. The scene in the metropolitan area has become notorious, with attendants creating a carnival-like atmosphere complete with fireworks and music.
Motorious Editor, Elizabeth Puckett, lives close to some of the areas with frequent pop-up 'takeovers', and offers that, "These people are not car people, I am a car person, I am in car clubs, we get rowdy, we might push it, some members might even engage in more reckless acts, but these are not car people," adding, "These people want attention, I doubt they even know how where the spark plugs are on their cars, but they probably know the best place in town to get fireworks!"
"The sad thing is, nobody (in a position of leadership) even cared until it kept some board member in Buckhead losing a night of sleep over the noise," noting that the current orders to the the police are to "Be present, but don't engage."
Police have blamed empty streets from shutdowns as well as social media for the uptick. We blame stupidity and a sense of entitlement.
Disagree that these people organizing and participating in street takeovers are selfish and entitled? This YouTube video out of Los Angeles (perhaps the worst city for takeovers) gives you a good glimpse of their mentality. Warning: there's language in this video and general stupidity.
We also covered how a group took over the street in front of the Space Needle in Seattle last month. Since it happened during roving riots in the city, police took over an hour to respond. When they did arrive, officers had to wade through a sea of parked cars in the road, giving the drivers doing smokey donuts plenty of time to escape.
Houston is another city which seems to have more than its share of street takeover problems. While it wasn’t a complete takeover situation, police responded to motorcyclists performing tricks on a highway and even attacking one car. The riders taunted police and refused to pull over, which in a recent Facebook post the Houston Police Officers’ Union blamed on criminals not fearing “prosecution or repercussions for their actions.”
Not all communities are taking this sitting down. A recent report highlights how police in Phoenix are cracking down on street takeovers. Authorities say it’s not just that the street takeovers involve dangerous driving, they also are a magnet for narcotics use, impaired driving, and violence. We hope other cities find ways to combat the trend, because these criminals are becoming more brazen and in turn more dangerous.
Real car enthusiasts give back to the community where they live. We’ve covered countless car clubs and just groups of friends raising money for charity, doing a parade for a child’s birthday party, and other things to help make where they live a better, kinder place. Loving cars doesn’t mean you have to act like a self-consumed moron.
Yes, we love big burnouts, crazy drifting, and the sound of a V8 revving wildly. But there’s a time and a place for all that. Public roads where kids are riding with their parents, innocent people are going to and from work, newly licensed drivers who are just trying to keep their nose clean are going to their first job, etc. aren’t even close to the right place for this lawless behavior. If that offends you, we don’t apologize one bit. It’s time to grow up and stop being selfish, because these kinds of activities put you and everyone else at risk.
To get an even clearer picture of just how dangerous these street takeovers can be, watch these videos (warning: language and violence):