NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Police have said street racers are lawbreakers in search of dangerous thrills. They almost dare law enforcement to catch them -- believing that no one can keep up.
The question is: Why risk your life and those of others racing on our public roadways? We put that and other questions to a man we'll call Clint -- who is a street racer.
"We know it's illegal," said Clint who said one of the preferred race strips in Nashville is none other than Briley Parkway.
"Do you think the police can catch you," we asked.
"No," he said.
"Do they know who you are," we asked.
"No." he answered.
"Would they like to know," we asked.
"Yes," he said.
Clint reached out to NewsChannel 5 after we did a story on mid-state police cracking down on illegal street racing.
He said it wouldn't work.
"They're not going to catch us in the act. It's not going to happen because we are smarter than they think," said Clint.
He said the security camera video police gave us of street racing in Murfreesboro is lame, and that the real racing takes place on interstates and beltways.
"What's the fastest you've gone on Briley," we asked.
"170 mph in a car. 210 mph on motorcycle," said Clint.
He said street style differs from drag racing, in that the races usually don't start from a stop. The cars here are already moving along the roadway and that's where the race starts.
"It's a matter of somebody honking their horn three times and on that third honk that's when they go," said Clint.
The races usually happen at night when there's less traffic, but there are still other drivers out there obeying the speed limit.
Does Clint worry about hurting someone? "No, because I'm careful," said Clint. "Before they realize we are behind them we are already around them."
Clint said there's a growing network of street racers linked by social media.
"It's real widespread. All throughout Tennessee - Nashville, Antioch, Murfreesboro, Smyrna," said Clint.
Police said street racing is a fatal accident waiting to happen. The driver of a convertible died racing when he crashed and his car exploded in Murfreesboro.
Clint said he knows the dangers. So why do it?
"It's thrilling. Honestly, it is fun."
But at what potential cost?
Police said Clint and other drivers are arrests waiting to happen.
"When the proof is there and we can make our case we will prosecute it," said District Attorney Jennings Jones.
The trick is getting the proof needed to stop the illegal street racing.
"I'm sure they would. But even if they knew who we were they're not going to catch us," said Clint.
Police said it's not easy to arrest, much less prosecute street racers. Surveillance video might catch them in the act, but that's after the fact.
Experts said you'll need more than that to convict them in court of the most serious charges. The problem is: It's not often police catch these drivers and pull them over during an actual race.
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