Cops to target illegal racing

2013-08-26 00:00

DURBAN’S Metro police will up the ante against drag racers this weekend after two suspected incidents on Friday and Saturday left one person fighting for his life.

On Friday night, a car that was allegedly involved in illegal racing smashed head-on into another vehicle.

The following night, a car allegedly driven by a drag racer T-boned [hit it side-on] another vehicle that was trying to turn onto the M19.

The accidents, on the notorious stretch of the M19 between the N2 bridge over Umgeni Road and Alpine Road have prompted Metro police to issue a warning that policemen — in plain clothes, in uniform and in unmarked and marked cars — will patrol the Blue Lagoon, Umgeni Road and Inanda Road hotspots.

Metro spokesperson Eugene Msomi said the police’s zero tolerance approach to drag racing would intensify this week.

“The message we have to drag racers is don’t even think about getting into your vehicles this weekend.

“The drag racers need to realise that it is not only their lives that they endanger, but the lives of innocent people who want no part of their drag racing.”

Msomi said his officers would analyse the weekend’s accidents and that the units responsible for monitoring drag racing would embark on a blitz from this week.

On Friday night, Rescue Care and ER24 paramedics assisted two people who were injured in the head-on collision on Umgeni Road, near Makro.

Rescue Care’s Garrith Jameson said they found one person was trapped in the car and the Jaws of Life and hydraulic equipment had to be used to free him.

“He [the victim] was carefully extricated from the vehicle using specialised equipment before being transported to a nearby hospital. A passenger from the second vehicle had also sustained moderate injuries and was transported by Rescue Care to a nearby hospital,” he said.

On Sturday night, paramedics were called out to another accident scene very close to the previous night’s crash.

“On arrival we found that a vehicle had T-boned another vehicle outside Makro.

“Paramedics assessed the situation and found four people had sustained various injuries. They were all stabilised on the scene before being transported to a nearby hospital.”

Kas Moodley, the chairpesron of the KZN Motor Racing Club, a body that organises legal drag racing events in Margate, Mtubatuba and Isithebe, said illegal street racers are “highly organised”.

While he said he had no knowledge of the weekend’s accidents, he said unless the municipality committed to providing a designated drag racing zone, street racing would continue.

“They [racers] use social media to communicate and they generally want spectators to view the action. We offer the legal option because people want to drive their cars. Vehicles today are coming out the factory standard with an immense amount of power and the owners want to give their cars a run,” said Moodley.

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