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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Florida Officers Battle Drivers in Legal Street Races

Story by justnews.com



IBS/WPLG-TV

Officers said they have seen a drastic reduction in illegal street racing since "Beat the Heat" started in 2007.


IBS/WPLG-TV

Once a month police officers race anyone over the age of 18 for $25.

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    MIAMI --

    If you talk to Anthony Gonzalez, you will realize quickly that there is no talking him into slowing down on the road.

    "Adrenaline rush -- the closer I feel to getting killed, the more I love it," Gonzalez said.

    The trick is controlling the passion for racing from spilling onto public roadways.

    "How fast have you gone?" Local 10's Sasha Andrade asked Gonzalez.

    "One-hundred-sixty, 170," he replied.

    Police officers are redirecting people like Gonzalez from the street to the County Line Drag Way. The program is called Beat the Heat. Once a month, officers will race anyone over the age of 18 for $25.

    "You could bring your mother’s minivan. You can bring a pure racing car. It doesn't matter," said Officer Jose Ayala with the Medley Police Department.

    "We're actually getting a lot of kids and adults alike come here and say, 'We used to race in Davie. You probably used to chase us around, and now we're here on the track and we want to race your car,'" said Officer Ron Bradley with the Davie Police.

    Officers said they have seen a drastic reduction in illegal street racing since Beat the Heat started in 2007.

    "We used to have races in the warehouse district almost every Friday, Saturday night. They've completely stopped," Bradley said.

    Racers told Local 10 that they actually prefer the track.

    "It's better and it's safer," one racer said.

    The next Beat the Heat race is May 23 at 7 p.m. at the County Line Drag Way on Okeechobee Road.

    Copyright 2009 by Post-Newsweek Stations. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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