Cityscape

Off the street wit it: Chief Craig hopes a legal spinout zone can tame Detroit Drift hellcats


January 25, 2020, 7:28 AM by  Alan Stamm

East-side drifting on Conant Street at a 2018 Tripmode Active gathering. A second scene is below. (Screenshots: YouTube/F&H Photography)

Police Chief James Craig will try to steer I-94 donut spinners and on-the-Lodge-wit-it hellcats into a burnouts-allowed area of Detroit.

"We want to work very quickly to find a place where they can have an opportunity to drift in a safe way," he tells WXYZ, which says the top cop “is now working on an agreement with a group of drivers aimed at getting those who cause shutdowns on freeways and major intersections to stop.”

The club that warms to the idea is called Tripmode Active, whose followers enjoy loud, smoky spinouts, 360s and other car show-style stunts. Trouble is, they and others use streets and freeways for racetrack moves.

"We're tired of running and tired of them [cops] chasing us," Daryl Hairston said this week in a sit-down with the chief. "We're not trying to get in anyone's way. We're just really trying to have fun."

Craig has met twice "with a couple dozen drivers to secure a piece of property where they can do donuts, drift, and slide while keeping spectators safe," Kimberly Craig of WXYZ reports.

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The city hopes to pick one of four potential dragstrips after resolving liability and noise concerns.

"They don't have any place to go," said Craig. … "We want to be part of the solution." …

Will Quarles and Hairston said the majority of drivers are against anyone forcing traffic on freeways and intersections to a halt, and they are working on spreading the message that it's not acceptable to interrupt traffic. …

"Street takeovers and freeway takeovers, it's not safe for nobody," Quarles said.

Noble goal, though we wonder how long a city-designated car playground will attract stunt show-offs. Turning a forbidden activity into a sanctioned one could soften its edge to dullness.

On the flip side, though, street taggers progressed to commissioned murals and gallery shows, skateboarders traded ordinance violations for skateparks, and wrenching open hydrants for summer coolness gave way to splashpads in city parks.

So hot wheelers doing the Detroit Drift may be at, yes, a turning point.    

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Read more:  WXYZ


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