If you live in Auburn Hills, as well as other surrounding communities along the M-59 and I-75 corridors, you may have experienced the sound of revving engines and squealing tires this summer during all hours of the night. While excessive speeds achieved by car enthusiasts is nothing new, it certainly has become a more dangerous and costly proposition; and in some cases, that cost is one’s life.
It’s easy to be from the Detroit area and to love cars. After all, we are the automobile capital of the world. But that love of cars has caused some to want to put their speed capabilities on display on some of our roads and highways, leading to terrifying experiences for unsuspecting motorists. In Auburn Hills, three incidents have occurred recently that need to be publicly shared. One is a crash caused by a motorist who was speeding through our downtown and crashed into a car at the intersection of Auburn Road and Adams Road. Luckily, there were no serious injuries or deaths reported. The second is a motorist who was forced off the road to avoid being crashed into by cars racing along I-75 at the Giddings Road curve. Thankfully, that motorist survived but narrowly missed a culvert that if hit, would have likely caused serious injury or perhaps even death. But the third example is certainly the most tragic in terms of results. In the early morning hours of Sunday, August 15, 2021, a motorist traveling along I-75 at a very high rate of speed exited the highway at Chrysler Drive, went airborne and crashed. Upon inspection of the car by Officers at the scene, it was clear that the young man had added several race car components to enhance his car’s performance. Unfortunately, the excessive speed exceeded the cars ability to negotiate the turn and tragically resulted in the death of the driver. The photo of the automobile was shared with me but frankly, I decided that the gruesome nature of it was not necessary for this blog post.
I recognize the excitement of cool, fast cars. I drive an automobile with a hemi engine myself. But I also choose to drive my car within the confines of the law. I could never live with myself if I injured or killed someone as a result of my own carelessness. Of course, most who drive at high rates of speed believe that they will never lose control of their automobile and that they will never injure or kill someone or themself. But explain that to the Auburn Hills Police Officer who had to knock on the door of a family on Sunday morning, August 15 to tell them their loved one was deceased. We simply don’t want anyone to be injured or killed in our community, for any reason including speeding.
With the Woodward Dream Cruise this weekend, there will be a lot of cars out and about in our region. It’s an incredible event and we want everyone to enjoy showing off their cars; proudly and responsibly. But this week and beyond, we want motorists to know that anyone engaging in dangerous speeds or racing of any kind will be ticketed for reckless driving and we will impound your automobile. These actions have already taken place here in our community over the past few weeks. I shared with you three incidents to prove that tragic outcomes “do happen” and not just “might happen”.
Be safe. Drive your automobile with pride, but don’t risk life and limb in doing so.
Tom Tanghe, City Manager