“Hot Rod Heaven: Speeding for Charity on a Utah Highway” is a story on the front page of this morning’s Wall Street Journal (see a similar story in the Salt Lake Tribune). Neal Boudette reports on an absolutely insane new practice of the Utah Highway Control where speeding is allowed once a year on a stretch of Highway 257 as a fundraising activity for charity. This annual “Utah Fastpass” is a three-day event in which owners of supercars can run their cars at high speed. The police are there to “catch” the speeders and give them a souvenir ticket, documenting their speed, with the understanding that the speeder will pay the “fine” to charity. Entrants also pay $5,000 of entry fees that go to a foundation to help Utah families of Utah highway patrolman who are killed in the line of duty.
One participant exceeded 200 mph and got his – wink, wink – $800 speeding ticket. Another participant, Richard Losee, ramped his $1.3 million Ferrari Enzo up to 150 mph when he lost control after hitting a small rise in the road, sending the vehicle into a devastating crash. Incredibly, Mr. Losee survived and was airlifted to a hospital.
Earth to Highway Patrol: Are you insane?? Have you never heard of lawyers or lawsuits? Have you wondered what kind of message you send when you encourage people to break the law and risk their lives by driving at unsafe speeds?
I’m just amazed at what public officials think is acceptable these days.