Calls for a crackdown after video shows dangerous 'car drifting'
LONDON, ONT. -- Recent online videos of London drivers ‘drifting’ their vehicles in a church parking lot have put the risky behaviour in the spotlight.
“They’ll come into the parking lot and do burnouts,” says city Councillor Elizabeth Peloza, who regularly receives complaints about late night gatherings in a commercial plaza on Ernest Avenue.
Drifting requires a driver to oversteer while spinning their tires, turning their vehicle in circles. It leaves dark skid marks on asphalt.
Peloza warns the increasing number of gatherings in southwest London put people at risk. Drifting cars leads to street racing she says, “The light changes and two cars side by side, off they go, and another set of cars is behind them, away they’ll race.”
Ibrahim, who asked CTV News not use his last name, attended the gathering on May 11 in the Forest City Community Church parking lot.
He confirms the drifting was intended to honour a friend who died in a motorcycle crash, “I knew him, I worked with him for a little bit, and I think everybody who drifts knows him.”
Ibrahim wouldn’t address the safety concerns raised by Peloza, “I don’t have anything to say about that.”
But city hall’s Director of Municipal Law Enforcement Orest Katolyk has a lot to say about drifting.
Katolyk says complaints have increased in the area around Bostwick Road. The information has been forwarded to London police.
“They’re not only trespassing, they are putting themselves at risk. In terms of this being a noise complaint, (that) is only a small factor,” warns Katolyk.
Ibrahim says he drives responsibly, and that drifting cars should be considered a hobby, not unlike playing sports, “These cars have the ability to drift, and it's a way of showing respect and having fun.”
Peloza says collaboration will be key to end drifting, including “working with bylaw staff and London police and local residents identifying where they are, what kind of gatherings they are having.”