A high-ranking State Police official said that it is time to re-think the seriousness of drag racing on the state’s roads – including Revere Beach Parkway and Rt. 1 in Everett.
“It’s got to be viewed much differently than drag racing in the ‘old days,’” said Major Edward Amodeo, commander of Troop A – which encompasses all of northeast Massachusetts. “This is a huge public safety issue.”
The major made his comments while unveiling a new racing enforcement effort for the area. He said his area has a lot of racing issues – such as in Lowell on I-495 – but that he has centered the new patrols at the Revere Beach barracks, which covers Everett.
“I pulled it down here because of the Beach,” said Amodeo.
He said that organized groups of racers gather late at night in “staging areas.” Some of the most popular staging areas here are the Wendy’s on the Parkway and the Stop & Shop on the Parkway.
“This is organized people, upwards of 20 to 50 cars,” said Amodeo. “They’ll gather in one place and send a lookout car and then set up a rolling roadblock on the highway as they race down Rt. 1 from Revere to Chelsea. They also like to race short distances on the Parkway in Everett. It’s very dangerous.”
Amodeo added that the racers organize on the Internet and then comment on their races on the Internet. He stressed that it isn’t an informal group.
To combat the racing, the State Police have organized a special unit, with close cooperation from the Everett Police, to monitor the “staging areas” and stop the races before they happen.
“We’ve even had a helicopter assisting us in viewing the staging areas,” he said. “In fact, we caught someone setting up on Rt. 1 in Revere last week.”
He said they don’t have any plans to allow the races to occur just to build a case. Instead, he said they would raid the staging areas and examine automobile VIN numbers and alleged racers’ licenses.
“We’ve had luck finding stolen auto parts and even several stolen engines during the raids on staging areas,” said Amodeo.