News Local

Getting street racing youth on the right track

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Having his car flip over - twice - in a near-fatal street race on South West Marine Drive wasn't enough of a hint for the then-teenaged Danny to slow down.

Instead, the 28-year-old reformed speedster said it was a street racing charge and the thought of losing a career in the automotive industry that clued him in to the dangers.

Danny, who wished not to be identified, is now a member of Resist the Race, an RCMP partnered outreach program that attends car shows to lure youngsters away from the thrill of highway racing.

Having once had his licence suspended for four years, Danny now urges aspiring car enthusiasts to hit legal racetracks for their speed fix, or wait to get into a career around cars.

"If you get into the right dealership, you can be around performance cars all day," he said. "You get to look at an M6 up close. You get to figure out how it works, what kind of power it has. You do it with the endorsement of the company."

Backed by RCMP traffic enforcement Sgt. Robert Quilley, the group regularly approaches youngsters with their Mini Cooper S, a $48,000 modified racer, to 'break the ice' when educating youth.

Quilley, who lost his friend and colleague Const. Jimmy Ng to a street racing accident in 2002, said uniformed officers often find it tough talking to young people, as many see advice as "lecturing."

The group also told reporters that racers mostly come from privileged families where parents would pay for their children's cars, often without knowledge their kids would then street race.

"Some (young racers), their parents buy it for them - most of them actually," Danny added. "The main mentality is the lack of any (perceived) consequences."

Langley RCMP are still investigating a potential street racing accident that killed 18-year-old B.C. Lions volunteer Dylan Reichelt on Nov. 12.