Street racer says illegal racing will not stop: 'We know it's il - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Street racer says illegal racing will not stop: 'We know it's illegal'

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(WMC-TV) - Illegal street racing in Memphis already killed one man this year. The question now is... who is next? A street racer spoke to Action News 5 and said that they will not be stopped.

So what is being done to make city streets safer for all of us?

It is a culture driven by thrill and a need for speed. Illegal street racing is happening on Memphis streets, reaching speeds up to 100 miles per hour and higher.

"We're not bad people," said a local street racer we will refer to as "Bud". "Yes, we are breaking the law. It could be worse."

Perhaps nothing could be worse for Harold Moore, whose 20-year-old son died while street racing in Memphis.

"There's no bringing him back," said Moore.

In the early morning hours of April 14, police say Jesse Moore was racing on Air Park Drive when two cars spun out of control and t-boned Moore's car.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"My son was 20 years old, just starting his life and it's over with," said Moore.

Sadly, it is a consequence that could have been avoided.

Bud says that every week there are hundreds of illegal street racers hitting the roads in Memphis, on Summer Avenue, Lamar Avenue, and Air Park Road, wherever they can find a long stretch of road.

Evidence of their exploits can be found on YouTube.

"When we do it we try to do it with a controlled environment. Where it's just us, no traffic, but that's not always going to happen," said Bud. "We have several locations here in Memphis. We get run off from one, we go to another."

He continued, "We know it's illegal. We're not intentionally doing harm to people."

But what are police doing to stop it? Bud, a street racer, says very little is being done.

"The way they look at it, oh it's just kids racing, lets go break them up and go on to what we were doing," he said.

Memphis police say they are cracking down on street racing, especially after the death of Jesse Moore in April.

But aside from writing tickets for reckless driving, which is a misdemeanor, it is hard to stop.

"At some point their license will be revoked. Because it's illegal to drag race and a continuance of tickets will get their license revoked," said Major Sharon Isbell, Memphis Police Department.

Another solution may be the fastest.

"If you drive it to work you can take it to the track. This is the place to race," said Pam Kendrick, who works at the Memphis International Raceway.

At Memphis International Raceway, legal street races take place several nights a week.

"There's no denying who won. There's clocks that record. There's a finish line," she said. "This is the environment to do it in."

It is still dangerous but it gets street racers off of public streets.

"We don't want to see anyone's family suffer a loss that could have been avoided," said Kendrick.

That is exactly what Jesse Moore's dad wants.

"Stupidity is stupidity but, being out here doing stuff like this, it's gotta stop," he pleaded.

If you see street racing or know where races are taking place, you are asked to report it. Call (901) 545-COPS or 911 immediately.

Memphis International Raceway charges $20 for racers to use their track. It is a small price to pay for safety.

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