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If You Want To Race-Take It To The Track Ten Things Communities Can Do To Combat Street Racing

(NAPSI)-Street racing is recognized by communities around the nation as a problem that needs to be solved. For decades, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has been active in anti-street racing campaigns. Most recently, SEMA launched a coalition of manufacturers, aftermarket parts companies, professional drag racers, sanctioning bodies, racetracks and automotive magazines devoted to safe and legal alternatives to street racing on a national level. The coalition was named Racers Against Street Racing (RASR) and the message is simple: If you want to race, go to a track.

"RASR's message against street racing contends with hundreds of media messages that depict street racing as glamorous," said Christopher Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. "RASR strives hard to educate new and existing drivers about the dangers of street racing and aggressive driving stunts that put them and others at risk of serious injury or death."

According to RASR, the following are 10 things communities can do to combat street racing:

1. Network with national organizations such as the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), Nopi Drag Racing Association (NDRA) and SEMA to support your efforts. They are great resources and can provide community leaders with the information and tools that can ultimately save lives.

2. Talk with local speed shop owners and ask them to display RASR stickers and materials. Ask for their participation and collaboration in your anti-street racing efforts. Their businesses rely on safe and legal competition. In some cases, they may be able to donate items for your event or even sponsor schools looking to create a car club or anti-street racing program.

3. Encourage local media to use anti-street racing public service announcement (PSA) materials. SEMA has PSA materials available upon request.

4. Utilize professional racers who are taking their status as role models seriously and supporting RASR and other programs. Ask them to speak at your schools and in your community. SEMA has a network of role models who are willing to speak to youth groups regarding the perils of street racing.

5. Get kids to the track. The RASR Web site has a national listing of tracks. Find the nearest racetrack in your community and partner with it to create teen race nights-offer discounted tickets, supply music and entertainment, and promote a car show competition to appeal to your target audience. Legal racetracks are the single best solution to combat street racing. These programs offer participants the thrill of intense competition while providing some things not available on the street-a controlled environment and official time slips to provide real proof-showing just how fast their cars are.

6. Some areas are not fortunate enough to have a nearby racetrack but a parking lot is the perfect place to "create" your own racetrack. Other alternatives include nonoperational airstrips or military bases. Coordinate with local businesses and community leaders to produce these programs. They can act in just the same way as a racetrack without the cost of erecting a professional venue. Coordinate with local medical and fire departments to have a presence at your event. Safety is always first and foremost. NHRA, NDRA and SEMA can also help provide safety guidelines.

7. Talk to parents and use SEMA as a resource by visiting

8. Collaborate with law enforcement. Many law enforcement agencies already have safe driving programs targeted, at least in part, to stop street racing. Communicate with them to see how your community leaders can help facilitate already existing programs. If your law enforcement agency doesn't have a program, educate them on the resources available and work with them to develop one.

9. Communicate with high schools, colleges and community organizations. Target auto shop classes specifically as some already have their own car clubs established. Encourage them to use RASR's educational materials. SEMA has a professional classroom curriculum available as well as a supplementary video titled "Speed Demons."

10. Reach out to driver's education classes and independent schools-ask them to show the video, talk about the dangers and the alternatives in your particular community and use the professionally developed curriculum.

For more information about RASR and what your community can do to combat and prevent this problem, call SEMA at (909) 396-0289 or visit

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