EDITORIAL: Race to the finish line

White Rock RCMP Const. Janelle Shoihet had it right when she summarized the array of high-end, high-speed vehicles seized in White Rock and South Surrey this week.

“Some of these, we’ve only seen in movies,” she said.

Indeed, the scenario that played out here Wednesday afternoon had all the trappings of a summer flick – a bad one. Teenagers, fast cars, an apparent race to one of Canada’s most popular beaches. It’s the acme of cool imagery for the widescreen or the Xbox.

One problem. It wasn’t a movie. The cars were real and so was the danger.

As the message of an award-winning student commercial for ICBC earlier this year asserted, “speeding is only cool in the movies.” It’s a message the young people involved, all from Vancouver and Richmond, apparently have not spent any time absorbing.

Their attention has been focused on very expensive toys – Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, Mercedes, Aston Martins and high-end, high performance Audis and Nissans.

These are the kind of sleek, glossy cars designed to do just two things: one, inspire a Pavlovian reaction among car buffs; two, travel very, very fast.

If you were caught carrying a loaded gun, you might claim it was for your own, or someone else’s, protection. But these arrogant upstarts – most of them under 20, several without their full licences – clearly weren’t interested in protecting anyone, least of all themselves.

Fueled by hormones, bravado and what must be an inexhaustible supply of cash, they chose to play their deadly game of tag on streets where ordinary people – mothers, fathers, seniors, children and other teens – have every right to live their lives with some expectation of survival.

Fortunately, some kind of guardian angel – not to mention the diligent officers of Deas Island, Surrey and White Rock – intervened.

These aggressive teens’ high-speed fantasy didn’t have a violent, bloody end, for which we can only be thankful. They lived and were able to be coolly insolent, or flip the bird, while officers attempted to educate them.

As many have noted online, the $196 fines they received are “chump change” for such well-heeled miscreants. They will go on, on a fast path to their inevitable fates.

Pray they do not waste innocent lives in the process of racing to their own ultimate dates with death.

 

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