Racing on public roads poses an extreme danger, and we have observed an increasing trend among many young drivers engaging in such activities. Numerous incidents have occurred where these races have ended in unfavorable outcomes. Participants either face arrest by law enforcement or find themselves involved in accidents. In most cases, these races are organized by groups of friends who own similar types of vehicles. Recently, a reported accident took place in Kochi, Kerala, involving unfamiliar individuals racing each other in a Polo GT and a Mini Cooper. Tragically, the Polo crashed and burst into flames.
Asianet news uploaded a video of the incident on their YouTube channel. The occurrence transpired in Panampilly Nagar, an upscale residential area in Kochi. CCTV cameras positioned beside the road captured footage of a Mini Cooper and a Volkswagen Polo hatchback engaged in a race. The Mini Cooper showcased a black and red finish, while the Polo displayed a matte grey-colored wrap, indicating modifications. Disturbingly, the race took place on the busy roads within the residential area. As the road reached its end, the cars were required to make a turn. Although the Mini Cooper driver skillfully maneuvered the vehicle, the Volkswagen Polo driver, who was tailing closely, failed to do the same.
Upon attempting the turn, the Polo veered towards the bridge railing and collided with it, instantly igniting a fire. Fortunately, both the driver and the passenger managed to evacuate the Polo promptly. Smoke emerged from beneath the car’s bonnet, and within a few minutes, the entire vehicle was engulfed in flames. The Fire Department responded swiftly upon being alerted, but they were unable to salvage the car, as the fire had already consumed it entirely. Following the accident, an investigation took place to determine the circumstances. It was then discovered that the drivers of the Mini Cooper and the Volkswagen Polo were complete strangers who had impulsively initiated the race on the public road. One car attempted to overtake the other, but the other driver refused to yield, resulting in an impromptu race on a busy road.
Law enforcement has successfully identified the owners of both vehicles, and a case has been registered at the Ernakulam South police station. The case falls under Section 279 of the IPC (Rash driving or riding on public road) and Section 189 of the MVD Act (Participation or permitting of races or speed trials without written consent from the State Government, punishable by imprisonment for up to three months, a fine of up to five thousand rupees, or both).
This incident is not an isolated occurrence. We have repeatedly emphasized the hazards and illegality of racing on public roads. If individuals genuinely wish to test the capabilities of their vehicles, it is strongly recommended to utilize race tracks or designated closed road sections. Engaging in reckless driving on public roads not only endangers their own lives but also poses risks to the safety of other road users.