ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A street racing enthusiast goes in front of Albuquerque's City Council, to bash critics of the outlawed hobby. His argument had councilors rolling their eyes.
John Von says he's been racing cars since he was 15-years-old and now he records the activity. His videos capture cars driving at dizzying speeds on Albuquerque's streets and freeways. They end up on YouTube and his website. At Monday's City Council meeting he took the mic during public comment to defend his passion.
Councilor Diane Gibson asked, "So, are you one of the people who's racing up and down Pennsylvania?" Von replied, "Pennsylvania, no that's a sketchy street, you shouldn't do that." Councilor Gibson then said, "I'll try to remember that."
His statement drawing the sarcasm and ire of some of the councilors, including Trudy Jones.
Councilor Jones asked, "Are you standing up here in front of this audience and the people on television and advocating for your right to violate the law, and speed and put other people in danger?" Von replied, "We try not to put other people in danger, that's the thing."
Von told the council there are no local stats to prove street racing is dangerous and he thinks laws against it are unjust.
Von said, "Not everybody who drag races has an accident." In another exchange, Councilor Gibson says, "I hope you're not out there when I'm on the street." Von responded, "I hope not either." Gibson added, "Or anybody I care about," and Von said back, "I actually, I did crash once."
Councilor Jones said Thursday she couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"I keep throwing out the term ludicrous, I don't know any other way, it's absolutely unbelievable," said Jones.
Other councilors weren't buying it either.
"This is extremely dangerous criminal behavior, this person who stood up here should be ashamed of himself," said Councilor Don Harris.
Jones says street racing is so dangerous and prevalent, especially in her district on Montgomery, that the city council recently approved $60,000 in extra funding to help police target the problem.
Von told the council if they were really concerned about cutting down on street racing, they would help him organize legal racing events. He says Double Eagle airport would be the ideal place.
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