Ross: We need to increase the consequences for street racing

Jul 18, 2023, 7:34 AM | Updated: 9:16 am

seattle street racing...

Seattle residents fed up with street racing could find some relief if a new proposal makes it through the city council. (Photo by Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

(Photo by Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

I sense that we’re reaching a critical mass of citizens who are tired of dodging speeders and are really tired of street racing. What I’m not sensing is the resolve to control the problem.

I hear plenty of warnings and lecturing and finger-wagging, but lectures don’t change anything because speeding is like graffiti; defiance is the whole point.

More from Dave Ross: Seattle sunny weather might be too much of a good thing

Do you know who’s actually doing something about it? The European Union. By this time next year, every new car sold in the EU must have a built-in anti-speeding system. It’s called Intelligent Speed Assistance, or ISA, and it senses the local speed limit, so the car slows down automatically, which also forces you to get better mileage.

The United States, of course, isn’t even close to adopting this, but thanks to those EU regulations, every car manufacturer now has the speed-limiting technology, so we could if we wanted to.

And you may ask, Dave, what happens when you mix the new cars, which automatically slow down, with the older ones, which do not?

Good point; imagine a bunch of cars suddenly slowing down in a speed zone without regard for the prevailing speed of everybody else. That could be a safety hazard too.

But, in a perfect world, it could also be a way of establishing a new prevailing speed if other drivers decide to buy in. I’ve been trying that approach, whenever I find a car actually obeying the speed limit, I try to fall in line and give him some support.

Now, as for street racing, at the very least, we have to update a few laws.

Several states punish not only the street racers but anyone within 200 feet of a street race, plus they impound everybody’s car, participants and spectators.

But here in Washington, street racing is just treated as reckless driving.

License suspension, under one year in jail, and you get your car back. You might be required to install an ignition interlock. Whoopee!

How about instead, the cars are automatically confiscated and crushed? Especially if they’ve been modified.

And finally, one more thing: car ads on TV. Some automakers still make speed a selling point.

When I see a car ad that focuses on speed, that tells me this is a company catering to drivers who think everybody else is expendable. Why would you buy a car from a company like that?

Car ads should be all about safety and the high quality of the built-in FM radio. And okay, if that doesn’t work, you can throw in some sex. But only if it’s slow sex.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

KIRO Newsradio Opinion

Image: President Joe Biden speaks about the high cost of prescription drugs and child care at Green...

Steve Coogan

‘Disarray:’ KIRO, KTTH hosts comment on Biden withdrawal, Harris ascension

The KIRO Newsradio and KTTH hosts who spoke about the development with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to MyNorthwest offered varying opinions.

11 hours ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Netflix Decides to Change Their Subscription Options

What is Netflix up to this time? They’re just changing the plans they offer for the hundredth time. Gee Scott joins the SMN crew to talk about all things Netflix. Listen to Seattle’s Morning News w/ Dave Ross & Colleen O’Brien Show every weekday at 5am on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM or go to […]

2 days ago

vote counts...

Travis Mayfield

Mayfield: One simple trick to ensure your vote actually counts

We should all care deeply whether our vote counts or not. And there is one surefire way to actually do that … check yourself!

3 days ago


MyNorthwest Video

Video: Tipping Culture’s NEW Incognito Way of Getting $$$

Toulouse Petit in Lower Queen Anne started charging a 5% “Living-wage” surcharge on all checks. The SMN crew and Gee Scott have some thoughts on this. What do you think? Let us know in the comments. Listen to Seattle’s Morning News w/ Dave Ross & Colleen O’Brien Show every weekday at 5am on KIRO Newsradio […]

3 days ago

Image: Kimberly Cheatle is the 27th director of the U.S. Secret Service. She has held the position ...

Angela Poe Russell

Angela Poe Russell: The unlikely scapegoat in the Donald Trump assassination attempt

A Republican from Tennessee, said DEI was to blame for the tragedy that saw a gunman try to kill Donald Trump.

4 days ago

trump shooter motive...

Dave Ross

Ross: Motive of Trump shooter not important, how he got an AR-15 is

As much as we would all like to understand the motive of the Trump shooter, I don’t see us doing much with that information.

7 days ago

Ross: We need to increase the consequences for street racing