Monday, September 29, 2008


Drag racing, that hazardous night street racing spectacle, has vexed Bangalore police for years now. Drag culture has even made city roads unsafe. Now the racers, who get a high on speed and slick motors, have moved on to the highways

Bangalore: Drag racing, once common in the heart of the city, has now shifted to the outskirts, with the police coming down heavily on the racers. Earlier, Anil Kumble Circle to Trinity Circle was used as a drag strip by wannabe racers.
Racing culture is not new to Bangalore. Not long ago, Jakkur airstrip was used for drag racing events. But with the Army and government refusing to allow races at Jakkur, space-starved youngsters have been using smooth roads for their sport.
According to motor sports promoter and one-time drag racer Ashok Vasa, the noisy racing by youngsters on modified bikes cannot be called drag racing. “A proper drag race is where only one person races in a specified lane, with all the safety measures. But today, the scenario has changed. Most youngsters who can afford an imported bike or a modified one, get into this kind of racing. This can at best be called ‘street racing’, which is illegal.’’
In February this year, police had arrested eight youth involved in drag racing. The smooth NICE Road had become a racing circuit for enthusiasts. But police have cracked down on NICE Road, and the daredevils have taken their roaring beasts to other roads.
According to police officials, Mysore Road is a favourite stretch, and the destination is a coffee outlet at Maddur. After the shutters are downed on pubs and bars at 11.30 pm, party-crazy youths head out of Bangalore to this 24-hour coffee shop on their bikes or cars, leading to accidents.
Bellary Road stretch is also popular with youngsters who drive at full throttle. According to DCP (East) K Shrinivas, the police have taken all security measures to curb such races. “Along with night patrolling, we check for such activities. If there are complaints against such races, we will immediately take action.’’ Mysore Road a killer stretch
Bangalore: Mysore Road is a stretch of death traps from Vijayanagar to Bidadi. It has the dubious distinction of being an accident-prone zone, with several accidents being reported after the Bangalore-Mysore Road was laid.
Traffic expert M N Sreehari says: “Spots like Nayandahalli junction, Rajarajeshwarinagar junction, R V College junction, a skywalk near Kengeri, DPS International School and Kumbalagodu are some places where the most number of accidents occur. Road widening has led to an increase in the speed of vehicles, but pedestrian safety has been neglected,’’ he added.
According to DCP (West) Panduranga Rane, the number of accidents on Mysore Road has come down now. “The road has been widened, and there is strict policing. We have booked over 1,300 cases this month, with the maximum number for overspeeding. There is one interceptor on Mysore Road which catches the offenders.’’
Nayandahalli junction Rajarajeshwarinagar junction R V College junction Kengeri skywalk junction DPS International School Kumbalagodu
SUPERBIKES — Imported ones include Hayabusa, Yamaha R1, Kawasaki Ninja, Honda CBR. Modified bikes include Hero Honda CBZ, Karizma, Suzuki Fiero, Bajaj Pulsar City has nearly 150 superbikes, most not registered with RTO Modification could cost Rs 2,000 to Rs 25,000 Money spent on body kits, aerodynamic components, neon tubes, xenon headlights, exhaust filters Racers loyal to their mechanics, won’t allow anyone else to touch bikes Some bikes can do 300 kmph; bikers zip up to 200 kmph


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