Several Central Florida auto racing companies have announced that they are working together to launch a campaign intended to reduce the amount of illegal street racing on area roadways. The announcement for the “Off the Streets and to the Race Track” campaign comes days after a street racing accident on Heintzelman Road injured nearly a dozen people. Organizers say that the program will begin this coming September and will provide a safe alternative to street racing by letting drivers race their cars on local race tracks instead of streets. They have been trying to rally support for the idea for some time, but their efforts have been met with some resistance. Less than two weeks before the recent crash on Heintzelman Road, Orange County commissioners unanimously rejected a proposal to allow drag racing to continue at a track in the Southchase neighborhood.
Florida and especially the Orlando area have an extremely high rate of pedestrian accidents. Orlando’s metro area is regularly at the top of lists of U.S. cities for accidents involving pedestrians. There is an average of one pedestrian killed every week and two suffering injury every day. An initiative led by Bike Walk Central Florida has been formed in order to deal with this problem. Partners in the coalition include local government, law enforcement agencies, Orlando Health and Winter Park Health Foundation. The group is planning on reducing the amount of pedestrian deaths and injuries by ten percent each year through education, enforcement and street improvements.