Wednesday, 10 January 2024, 18:23
Illegal race meetings on Malaga roads are becoming ever larger. Organised through WhatsApp or Telegram groups, they almost always take place on Fridays. At the rallies, a sort of local 'Fast & Furious', petrol heads from different locations in Malaga and even from other provinces come. Some watch. Some compete. And sometimes they crash.
Illegal racing is a booming phenomenon in Malaga, where several accidents, some of them serious, have occurred. The competitors use Instagram or TikTok to show off their dangerous exploits, and gain followers.
Thankfully, a group of Local Police officers who are social media experts are dedicated to tracking the channels to identify violators and try to stop the convening of these races.
On 5 January, there was an ugly incident on the Azucarera-Intelhorce road with three cars involved and one child under 13 injured. A teenager who was standing at a traffic light with his father were both hit when a black BMW ploughed into them at high speed. An investigation is under way to assess whether the driver was participating in an illegal rally; a video of the car circulating at high speed and is being analysed.
In recent years there have been a number of accidents, such as the one that happened in 2021 in the Trévenez industrial estate, where the driver of a car participating in a race lost control and ran over a group of spectators.
In February of last year, a car flipped over while skidding around a roundabout in the vicinity of Ikea. A spectator recorded the scene and caught the moment when the passenger was thrown out of the vehicle.
In just over a year, the Group of Attestees (GIAAT) and the Investigation and Protection Group (GIP) of the Local Police have arrested a dozen people for crimes against road safety committed in these races. Some have even been convicted.
But the investigation and surveillance work has failed to eradicate the phenomenon that, as the consulted police sources recognise, continues to increase. This is due to a number of reasons and the issue is not exclusive to Malaga: Madrid, Seville, Valencia, and Barcelona, are also having serious problems controlling these concentrations.
Police investigations have allowed officers to enter the online groups and learn, for example, the street circuits and the code names they use to name themselves. 'Eight spotlights' is the one they use to refer to the Cortijo de Torres fairgrounds; 'Palacio' is the conference centre Centre; the Trévenez industrial estate is called 'CTM'. Other meeting points are Los Montes de Malaga and the car parks of Ikea, Martín Carpena or Carrefour-Los Patios.
In the latest interventions, officers have counted more than 100 cars and as many motorcycles. The scenario is as follows: there are a number of cars that park on the sides and do not circulate; they are simply motor fans with tuned cars that leave their boots open with drinks and music.
Then there are those who compete in their sports cars of up to 400 brake horsepower. Officers have identified drivers who come from other locations or provinces. Even, as recently detected, a semi-professional Formula 3 driver. According to the sources consulted, it has not been verified that there are bets, as in the movies.
The researchers have also detected – some of the videos that accompany this article demonstrate this – a new variant of even more dangerous races in which cars compete against trick motorcycles. It is the latest fashion.
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