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Street racing a problem

Imagine sitting in your home late at night and all of a sudden the windows start shaking and the foundation of your house is rattling. Then you open the door only to see a group of cars racing down your street in something that resembles a scene out of the movie "Fast and the Furious."

This was the scenario Carol Stone presented to the Sunnyside City Council this past Monday night.

Stone also brought with her a petition signed by 41 Sunnyside residents demanding that the city do something about what she views as a growing problem with street racing in residential neighborhoods.

Stone said when she first started coming to City Council meetings two years ago, Council members told her and other citizens to contact the police department when a criminal activity is taking place.

But, Stone said the local police department has been anything but helpful lately.

Last month, Stone said her mother didn't receive much help from a dispatcher at the police department when she called to report an incident involving street racing. Stone said her mother called the police department to report an incident involving racing cars.

"The dispatcher told her, lady, you should just go to the City Council meeting (to voice your concerns)," said Stone.

The problem involving racing cars has continued to increase, said Stone. She has been trying to get citizens to ban together to address the problem, but Stone said there has been little help from law enforcement personnel.

"We are fearful of retaliation," said Stone. "We are fearful the police force is actually afraid of the lawbreakers."

Stone said the issue with the racing vehicles needs to stop before someone gets hurt.

"These vehicles are going 70 miles per hour plus," said Stone.

Stone said she has been told by people the drivers involved with racing cars are imitating what they see in the movies. She said the cars have boom box speakers that rattle residents' windows at all hours of the day because they are so loud.

Several of the incidents have happened in the neighborhood of Sunnyside Community Hospital, said Stone.

One other resident besides Stone also came before Council Monday night and spoke about how street racing is a problem in the area of Newhouse Avenue.

"They do it at night. They do it in broad daylight. This has just become too much," said Stone. "If any child gets hurt because of these speeders, this Council has been put on notice."

Mayor Ed Prilucik referred the matter to staff to further research and report back to Council.

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