DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (May 30, 2003) — The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is promoting an effort to discourage young drivers from participating in illegal street racing made popular in such films as “The Fast and Furious.”
Racers Against Street Racing (RASR), a grassroots enthusiast group that promotes legal alternatives to illegal street racing, is planning to take its program to driver education classrooms throughout the country.
“Young drivers today are surrounded by media messages that depict street racing as glamorous and OK,” said Christopher J. Kersting, president and CEO of SEMA, which administers RASR. He added that it's a rare day when there isn't news about the unfortunate results of a street-racing incident in the U.S.
“We want to get a head start on educating new drivers about the dangers of street racing and aggressive driving stunts that put them, and others, at risk of serious injury and death,” Mr. Kersting said. “SEMA is delighted that new drivers are embracing the opportunity to improve the performance and appearances of their vehicles. RASR is launching this program so that enthusiasts will take their racing activities to organized events at racetracks.”
The RASR program—currently being tested in driver ed classrooms—consists of a curriculum and video. It addresses the realities of street racing, informs the students about local street-racing laws, and provides information about local, legal alternatives, SEMA said. The classroom lesson is augmented with a graphic videotape produced for the MTV show “Flipped.” Several members of RASR who compete in professional drag-racing competitions nationally are featured in the TV show.