Will this even work?
We’ve been working hard to make enthusiasts aware of so-called street takeovers where a large group of people converge on a stretch of road, entire intersection, or in this case a business parking lot and take it over to do smokey donuts, burnouts, and other dangerous stunts. Unfortunately, many journalists have decided these are car enthusiast street races and that poses a danger to our hobby as they crusade to stop the dangerous activities. That attitude is certainly front-and-center in a recent report about a New Orleans property owner having barriers installed in his parking lot to stop takeover events from happening there.
Read more about the street takeover trend here.
According to the report, the property owner had speed bumps installed in hopes that will stop the nighttime gatherings. The owner also expressed frustration at a lackadaisical attitude he claims New Orleans police have regarding the illegal events. That’s certainly not the approach some other police departments have taken. Instead, they are wisely trying to shut down street takeovers. For example, police in the Phoenix area realize these events attract other crimes from drug deals to assaults add property damage, making shutting them down a priority.
However, the New Orleans Police Department sent an official statement to the local news, saying it “actively responds to any reported incidents of vehicles driving recklessly.” We certainly hope they’re taking the street takeover phenomena seriously, as should other cities as it spreads throughout the United States.
These people participating in street takeovers aren’t car enthusiasts and shouldn’t be treated as such by anyone. They’re simply scofflaws looking to have fun at others’ expense. In fact, some of the vehicles used at these events have been reportedly stolen, which helps explain why participants flog them with zero regard for mechanical damage done.
Many gather at the events to get photos and video for their social media accounts. What’s strange is that Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms which gleefully have been censoring content they don’t like seem to be unwilling to remove these street takeover posts, even though they quite literally encourage illegal activity. For some examples, check out the YouTube videos included with this article (language warning: not safe for work).
We hope the speed bumps help discourage gatherings at this parking lot, but it’s entirely possible they won’t. Considering many of these kids don’t care at all about the cars they’re using, whether they own them or not, the obstacles might be seen as a fun new challenge and not a hindrance.