If a streetracer wrecks his car, hurts no one, and says he's learned his lesson, should he still be brought to the police? The members of a local Honda forum responded to one such incident with a resounding yes.
The owner of a modified 6th generation Honda Accord coupe had a violent crash while racing a Subaru STi through four lanes of traffic on a New York parkway. At the end of a video showing the race itself, you can hear tires screeching as the Accord spins out.
The Accord driver himself, James Halaby, described the incident on his group's private Facebook page. You can read the whole transcript here.
Racing the sti, I was winning, small turn the rear broke loose, I tried to correct it and the whole car spun out slammed into the railing bounced off flew across 4 lanes of the highway into the other guardrail. I started it up and drove it home. It looks like its just cosmetic but my steering is kinda fucked up as is my cf which flew up and smashed my windshield and the gaurdrail [sic] scraped the shit out of my BBS's. I'm gonna have to jack it up sometime this week and check the steering rack. I'm fine, my hands kinda fucked up but this is a lesson I had to learn the hard way, from now on I'm taking it to the track.
While most of the other posters in his Facebook group were supportive of Halaby, but when word got out to the 6thGenAccord.com forum, the rest of the Accord community demanded that he be reported to the police.
not only are you an embarrassment to this forum by promoting that fb group the way you do, anyone that doesn't piece all this together into you pretty much overall being a selfish, terrible person and instead thinks anyone against you is a hater...is just as equally guilty of being branded a retard. You wanted nothing but pity after your little boo boo, and you're willing to ignore common sense all throughout simply to maintain composure among a throng of idiots and claim "welp lesson learned, I'm telling you I won't do that again"
this goes beyond "grow up". You honestly should spend some time behind bars dude, maybe it'll wise you the hell up.
The rest of the forum quickly pointed out that educating Halaby isn't the main concern. The problem is that, in streetracing, he was giving car enthusiasts a bad name.
You James, are everything that is wrong with what the car enthusiast community has become today personified. You are the reason us responsible car people can't have meets in public places without being harassed by the cops, the reason the general public views us ALL as RECKLESS street racers and the reason why when we ARE able to have a meet, the cops shut the gate to the park so the rest of our friends can't get in. People like you are the reason why innocent people get killed in street racing "accidents". I saw a lot of comments in that FaceBook Group discussion where people were telling you that they're glad you're ok. Well pardon me while I say FVCK you and your being "ok". I'm glad all the people driving in the cars around you on the Parkway are ok. I'm glad your car didn't smash into one of theirs killing THEM. Fvck you.[…]
The term "a few bad apples spoils the bunch" has never been more true than when it is used with regard to the Car Enthusiast Community, which sickens me because the only things I love more than cars and the friends I've made because of them (including the ones I've never met in person) are my family, my girlfriend and my dogs. I am a die hard car guy, I always will be, and people like you are trying to destroy what I and a lot of other people love VERY much.
So....it's time to start squashing the bad Apples from inside the community. It's the only way it will work.
An example has to be made and you are going to be that example. If I can help it.
I hope you're ready for your close-up.
The common rebuttals from those who believe that Halaby doesn't deserve further punishment argue that everyone's streetraced, and what he did was not so bad
Legit ****, some of you guys need to grow the hell up. He made a damn mistake and is paying for it with his damages to his car. We all ****ing have raced before, so, figure it like this. If you were in his situation, you wouldn't want the **** you guys are saying atm. And the person in the fb group saying this ****. Go to hell.
A forum member reported the incident to Jalopnik and the NYPD's anonymous tips service CRIMESTOPPERS.
To the left is another video of Halaby streetracing, again on a busy street.
While Halaby hurt no one in either race, what he did could certainly be seen as reckless endangerment. Everyone agreed that these drivers should stick to the track, that streetracing is deadly, and that these races makes life difficult for all non-streetracing car enthusiasts. Many believe that Halaby has already learned his lesson, but others say that only police involvement will bring justice
If the goal is to reduce streetracing, is it best to keep events like this within the community, or does true self-policing require car enthusiasts to report street racers to the authorities? What about drifting on the street? What is your obligation as a car enthusiast to report illegal acts you see on the internet?
(Hat tip to WantToHoon!)
Photo Credit: James Halaby