12/11/08 — Officials say despite new law, street racing isn't a problem here

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Officials say despite new law, street racing isn't a problem here

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on December 11, 2008 1:46 PM

There are few recent reports, if any, of illegal street racing within the city of Goldsboro or the townships of Wayne County, according to investigative and patrol authorities and a review by the News-Argus of nearly every submitted police report over the past year.

But that isn't to say that police officials aren't concerned about the potential of street racing, particularly after a Raleigh newspaper reported about 5,500 street racing charges in this state within a five-year period.

In places like Rocky Mount and High Point, dangerous street racing has been an issue, authorities said.

But here in Wayne County, Goldsboro police Maj. Mike Hopper says that street racing hasn't been a major citizen concern in at least five years.

However, Hopper sent out an e-mail to all patrol supervisors after reading about the organized rings described by the Raleigh newspaper. The major said he had not heard anything back from his patrol captains about any concerns they may have about street racing.

Chad Calloway, the sergeant who acts as spokesman for Goldsboro's police department, said the investigations division is unaware of any street racing complaints.

"Not any kind of arranged street racing, no, I'm unaware of any of that," Calloway said. "Patrol might run across two people that ended up racing, but I've not heard of anything organized."

Goldsboro Police Operations Maj. Mike Hopper, who oversees the patrol division, said he sent out an e-mail to all of his captains after reading a story about organized street racing.

But Hopper said he has heard of no complaints in the city of Goldsboro in at least five years.

The last time Goldsboro police had trouble with street racing was about five years ago, Hopper said, when races became a problem on Piedmont Airline Road.

Since that road became part of the city, however, Hopper says there have been few problems.

"I can't remember the last time we charged anyone with street racing," Hopper said. "That's not to say that there might be some in the county."

But the Sheriff's Department's Capt. of Investigations Tom Effler said that the investigations division is unaware of any organized street racing within the unincorporated limits of Wayne County.

But the police major also noted that anyone charged with the crime would face serious law enforcement scrutiny.

"Anyone who is caught street racing is guilty of a very serious crime," Hopper said, noting that not only does racing endanger the lives of participants, it inherently threatens the lives of others on the road.