May 30, 2003

Racers Against Street Racing launches teen education program

Diamond Bar, California – Racers Against Street Racing (RASR), a grass-roots enthusiast group that promotes legal alternatives to illegal street racing, will take its program to driver education classrooms throughout the United States this year. A similar program is being offered in Canada.

“Young drivers today are surrounded by media messages that depict street racing as glamorous and OK,” said Christopher J. Kersting, president and CEO of SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, which administers RASR. He noted that it’s a rare day when there isn’t news about the unfortunate results of a street-racing incident in this country.

“We want to get a head-start on educating new drivers about the dangers of street racing and aggressive driving stunts that put them, and others, at risk of serious injury and death,” Kersting said. “SEMA is delighted that new drivers are embracing the opportunity to improve the performance and appearances of their vehicles. RASR is launching this program so that enthusiasts will take their racing activities to organized events at racetracks.”

The RASR program, currently being tested in driver ed classrooms, consists of a curriculum and video. It addresses the realities of street racing, informs the students about local street-racing laws, and provides information about local legal alternatives. The classroom lesson is augmented with a graphic videotape produced for the MTV show “Flipped.” Several members of RASR who compete in professional drag-racing competitions nationally are featured in the TV show.

The RASR program says “It’s all about time slips. You can brag that your car will go a quarter-mile in ten seconds, but you can’t prove that boast without an official time slip from a racetrack. That’s your real proof.”

Gregg Guenthard, RASR’s director, said, “You don’t have to be a champion racer like John Force or Stephan Papadakis to be a winner at the motorsports track. You can get your adrenalin rush with your own daily driver car. These tracks provide a controlled environment for the drivers and their vehicles.”

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