Dangers of Street Racing, Police Say It's Not Worth The Thrill

Josh Navarro
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- A thrill on the road could be dangerous and land many people to hospital. More than a handful of people have been hospitalized this year because of street racing here in the Basin. Authorities say it's not as prevalent as before but it still has a presence.

Sergeant Scotty Smith is back patrolling the streets of Odessa after being assigned a different task within the police department. NewsWest 9 hitched a ride with him so he could explain how street racing can be dangerous.

"It's dangerous to the public," Smith said. "From what I've seen since I've been back on patrol for a couple months, the kids will come out and use this red light here at Grant and Clements and they will travel westbound on Clements and they'll race each other. They'll go down about West County Road, turn around and then come back. Get back in line and go again. "

Smith says racers turns Clements Street into their own dangerous playground. The problem is that there are many homes along that street and for anyone who lives there getting out of the driveway could possibly get hurt.

"So as they're pulling out, they're thinking someone is further away and they have plenty of time, but in retrospect that time and distance is decreased due to the speed and that's what causes a lot of major accidents," Smith said.

Odessa street limits are usually less than 50 miles per hour but racers go much faster and we found it online. Someone showing off their speed on Clements Street. There's one crash that Sergeant Smith will never forget.

"Back several years ago when I was first patrolling, an accident that occurred on Andrews Highway, there was a lady that was trapped inside of the car and they were unable to get her out. And to my understanding it was due to drag racing. The person lost control and struck a pole. The lady was trapped inside of the car and they couldn't get her out in time."

Police say the need for speed is not worth it and the thrill could cause jail time.