Special Report: Reckless Racers
With the blast of a horn, a count down, and revving engines, they're off!
This is not a scene from a movie, it's an illegal race, not on a race track, but Route-93 on the North Shore.
On a Connecticut highway, a game of cat and mouse quick lane changes at high rates of speed.
Reckless races are happening all around New England, putting unsuspecting drivers at risk.
"I race usually in Boston South End, in like Revere and stuff sometimes," racer Martin said.
Martin, who's from Lowell, has the speeding tickets to prove it.
"If it's a fast car I usually tap out my car 160 (MPH)," Martin said.
"The fastest I have gone is 115 (MPH) or something," racer Justin said.
Justin from Worcester is also quick to brag about his need for speed.
"It's doing something I love, so getting hurt for doing something I love is kind of worth it," Justin said.
Street racing has been suspected in countless fatal accidents, like one recent wreck on Route-1 in Saugus.
Patricia Hanlon's son Ed was killed when his car careened out of control after being cut-off by alleged racers.
Last year, police issued 578 tickets for illegal racing, but they say that's just the tip of the iceberg. Local police are frustrated because catching these racers in the act is nearly impossible.
"They don't advertise, they try to keep it very low key and calm," Officer Paul Corcoran of the Lowell Police Department said. "They talk among themselves and let each other know when to be there what time and day."
7News went undercover after tracking down secret meetings.
One road rally on was on Route-1 in Saugus. A big northeast meet in Connecticut is an example of another where several drivers showed off their fast and furious wheels.
In an effort to stop these dangerous drivers, police officers are talking to schools and pumping up patrols.
"We don't want to slow it down, we want to stop it," Officer Dan Houston of the Lowell Police Department said.
And this local mom who lost her only son wants to remind racers of the deadly consequences.
"In a split second for that thrill you got to push that gas peddle to the floor of the car and go fast and feel the thrill of it, it left us with a lifetime of agony," Patricia Hanlon said.
With stepped up patrols, police are hoping to put the brakes on illegal street racing.
Not all racers go to the streets, some take their need for speed to legal tracks.
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