The COVID-19 pandemic came with many unexpected consequences. As the world came to a screeching halt, fear quickly shifted to restlessness. And though many turned to sourdough bread baking or working their way through the Netflix catalog, some took up far more dangerous hobbies. According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, “illegal street racing and street takeovers exploded in popularity during the pandemic.”
While street racing is entertaining to watch in fictional worlds such as the award-winning Fast & Furious franchise, it’s incredibly dangerous to do in real life. Many injuries and deaths have occurred due to street racing over the years, including Fast & Furious star Paul Walker, who died while participating in the high-stakes hobby back in 2013.
Now, Orange County DA Todd Spitzer is taking steps to reduce the amount of injuries and casualties related to street racing. Together with Paul Walker’s brother Cody and Fast & Furious star Sung Kang, Spitzer launched a nationwide PSA against the dangerous pastime.
“Taking over streets, destroying intersections, and driving nearly 190 mph in traffic next to innocent drivers and passengers are dangerous and violent crimes and the must be treated as such,” DA Todd Spitzer in the press release. “No one – and I mean no one – gets to kill an innocent bystander in pursuit of a high-speed adrenaline rush and get away with it in Orange County.
“If you refuse to keep it on the track, we will find you,” Spitzer continued. “We will arrest you and we will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. These are not numbers. These are real people with real futures – futures that were devastated by illegal street racing.”
Paul Walker’s Brother and ‘Fast & Furious’ Star Sung Kang Endorse Anti-Street Racing PSA
In addition to the Orange County District Attorney’s impassioned speech against street racing, Sung Kang and Paul Walker’s brother Cody warned against racing in public spaces in the PSA. The campaign is largely narrated by Sung Kang himself, who voices that he understands the love for racing, but urges against doing so irresponsibly.
“Sometimes we just want to get in our cars and drive,” Kang said as race cars roared in the background. “It’s how we blow off steam. Spend time with our friends. And sometimes we just want to go a little fast. And a bit furious.”
Paul Walker’s brother Cody then chimes in. “Guys, let’s be responsible,” he said. “There’s someone waiting for you at home.”
In the press release, both Cody Walker and Sung Kang further endorsed the PSA. “Like many of you, I too have lost somebody due to reckless driving,” Cody Walker said. “I think a lot of the time when those of us that want to go fast, or we have something to prove, we don’t take into consideration the lives of those around us.”
“It’s not just you that you’re putting in jeopardy,” Walker continued. “It’s everybody else around you. So don’t be dumb, take it to the track. There’s somebody at home that loves you that’s expecting you to return. It’s not worth the risk I promise.”
“I wish our special effects could bring back our loved ones. But unfortunately, that won’t be the case,” added Kang, who also directed the PSA. “We are honored to be able to be part of such an important message. Stop racing on the streets and go to the track!”