Today's Paper Latest Coronavirus Elections Cooking Covid Classroom Families Core Values Story ideas iPad Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive

DRIVETIME MAHATMA: Jail terms, fines await drag racers

by Frank Fellone | July 25, 2020 at 8:17 a.m.

"Dragstrip Girl" is a 1957 movie about teenagers and fast cars. The movie's poster describes the lead character as "Car Crazy! ... Speed Crazy! ... Boy Crazy!"

The mind, what's left of it, also recalls James Taylor in "Two-Lane Blacktop" from 1971, when he had hair.


Not so funny in real life. Just ask the 30 people arrested on the night of June 6 in the vicinity of Remmel Park near Interstate 440. All of them were ticketed for violating Arkansas Code Annotated 27-50-309, "Racing or observing a drag race as a spectator on a public highway."

A few of these folks also were ticketed for other traffic violations. The arrests were made by Troop A of the Arkansas State Police.

Racing is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Observing a drag race is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

A drag race under Arkansas law is defined as two or more motor vehicles competing from a point side by side in an attempt to outdistance each other. Or the operation of one or more motor vehicles from a common point to a common point for the purpose of comparing relative speeds or power of acceleration.

It should go without saying, but let's say it anyway, that such racing occurs on a public highway.

Neither may someone promote, solicit or collect money at any drag race on a public highway.

Neither may someone ride as a passenger in any race or drag race on a public highway.

A person commits the crime of observing a drag race as a spectator on a public highway if he is knowingly present at and purposely observes the drag race or its preparation. Or purposely demonstrates via active encouragement, assistance, facilitation, urging or a request that a drag race commence.

How did the state police happen on such a gathering on a night in June? Not by accident.

The agency's public information officer, Bill Sadler, said the public had been reporting the racing to Troop A, and troopers also noticed an influx of modified race cars into the east Little Rock area on Friday and Saturday nights. This had been ongoing for at least a year, he said.

Remmel Park was a staging area, he said, adding that the operation to stop the drag racing was coordinated with the Little Rock Police Department. Remmel Park is a city park on Lindsey Road near I-440. It's also near Frazier Pike and Tibault Road, two other hot spots.

Not that drag racing is unknown. The state police issued 52 citations for the offense in 2019. As of July 11 of this year, troopers had issued 63 citations for drag racing. That includes the 30 people ticketed June 6.

Next week: A look at 30 drag-racing tickets.


Sponsor Content