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Tunnels in São Paulo such as The Ayrton Senna Lack Speed Radars, Leading to Street Races

04/24/2018 - 11h10

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ROGÉRIO GENTILE
FROM SÃO PAULO

Three of the main tunnels in the city of São Paulo have literally become illegal race tracks, particularly during the late hours of the night, due to the lack of speed radars.

Motorcycles or cars that race one another in three of the city's tunnels (the Ayrton Senna, Fernando Vieira de Melo and Max Feffer) can reach up to 200 km/h.

The races are usually scheduled on social networks or via cell phone, in order to circumvent the police, although sometimes they occur spontaneously. A brisk acceleration or the sound of screeching tires are like passwords for street racers who happen upon each other.

Accidents are not uncommon. According to the municipal transport secretary, João Octaviano, a car recently flipped over in the Max Feffer tunnel, which was built in 2004 and connects avenues Cidade Jardim and Nove de Julho. "It was involved in a race", he said.

Marivaldo Oliveira/Código19/Folhapress
Last year, a white Ferrari crashed into a street post along 23 de Maio Avenue after exiting the Ayrton Senna tunnel at a very high speed.
Last year, a white Ferrari crashed into a street post along 23 de Maio Avenue after exiting the Ayrton Senna tunnel at a very high speed.

Brazilian transit laws stipulate that drivers caught in street races not only have to pay a R$ 2,934.70 fine (US$ 850), but their licenses may also be revoked and their vehicles confiscated.

In an attempt to minimize the problem surrounding such street races, secretary João Octaviano, who serves under the administration of mayor Bruno Covas (PSDB), said that speed radars will be installed in the tunnels soon - currently, the tunnels are only equipped with cameras.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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