There are many forms of illegal racing that occur on a nightly and daily basis around the world, with the most frequent occurrences of illegal racing involving automobiles and motorcycles. Drag racing is perhaps the most common and recognizable form of illegal racing. All that this form of racing requires is a straight stretch of road and two willing participants. Another type of illegal racing that is popular with sports car and motorcycle drivers alike is known as canyon racing. In this type of competition, racers attempt to speed through a twisting and turning downhill road course, with the winner typically being the one who doesn't crash.
Law enforcement officers are very strict when it comes to any form of illegal racing. The danger in this type of activity comes from improperly-prepared vehicles, a lack of safety equipment and unaware bystanders who unknowingly drive into a makeshift race course. There is even illegal racing of watercraft that often results in the injury and death of innocent people swimming and boating in the wrong place at the wrong time. This occurrence is so dangerous that officials often confiscate the race vehicle at the first offense.
The street racing scene in most major cities around the world is fueled by U.S. Hollywood movie makers. In the 1950s, American stars such as Marlon Brando and James Dean became popular by racing into the night as some fellow teenager dropped a flag or a handkerchief to start the race. As popular as this type of action is, Hollywood continues to produce movies featuring illegal racing, such as "The Fast and The Furious" along with all of its sequels. When illegal racing is glamorized, often scores of the world's youth are indoctrinated into the illegal world of street racing.
Hollywood is not alone in perpetuating this dangerous activity. Video games project illegal racing in many forms to young, impressionable minds. Even cross-country automobile racing with the winner taking the entire prize is glamorized in cartoons.
It is not only motor vehicle racing that is dangerous. Every year, people are injured and even killed in illegal downhill racing on skis and snowboards. In this activity, not only are the other innocent skiers placed in harm's way, but the very landscapes of trees and rocks become danger zones in these unsafe practices. The thrill of competition is difficult to resist, and some overly competitive people cannot avoid the allure, even if it's an unsafe activity.