23 Aug 2014
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POLL: Does RI Need a Legal Place to Drag Race?

An online petition has received more than 1,000 signatures from residents throughout New England who would like to see a legal drag strip built in Rhode Island.

POLL: Does RI Need a Legal Place to Drag Race? POLL: Does RI Need a Legal Place to Drag Race?

Rhode Island drag racing enthusiasts are petitioning for the State Senate to designate an area of land for a legal drag strip.

An online petition on Change.org  has gained a quick following this month, with supporters pushing for the state to allow a private investor to build the designated space.

According to Providence resident Joshua Upham, who started the petition, our state has been the home of "many accidents (sometimes fatal) of illegal street racers."

"These 'street races' are dangerous, illegal, and a nuisance to the citizens of Rhode Island," he writes in the petition.

Consequently, he wants to "persuade the State of Rhode Island to set aside a slot of land to build a drag racing strip where legal drag-racing can occur."

According to Upham's petition, a legal drag strip in Rhode Island would give the community a safe place to drag-race and would "keep 'street racers' off the streets." So far, more than 1,000 people have signed the petition from locations throughout Rhode Island and other New England states.

Currently, there are three legal drag strips in the immediate New England area. However, the closest strip to Rhode Island is New England Dragway located in Epping, NH. The other two are located in Oxford and Winterport, ME, both of which could be considered a long haul for many Rhode Islanders.

Many supporters, including petition signer Eric Tirado, say a legal drag strip would also "bring more revenue to the state from people buying admission into the drag strip as well as many companies wanting to promote themselves and bring tourists in to the state."

On the other side, those who oppose the petition claim that if the state were to allow for a legal strip, it may appear that the state condones racing both on and off of the drag strip.

What do you think? Should Rhode Island provide drag racers a legal place to race? 

Vote in the poll and share your thoughts below in the comments section below. You can view the petition on  Change.org.

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