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New Jersey police under investigation for turnpike race

Reporters are calling a 100-mile-per-hour caravan down the New Jersey turnpike last month a “death race.” The controversy has led to an investigation of state police who allegedly escorted a convoy of high end sports cars down the turnpike towards Atlantic City.

The alleged conduct raises serious public safety concerns for New Jersey drivers, who rely on enforcement of traffic laws to help prevent car accidents. Fortunately there are no reports of injury as a result of this apparently reckless conduct. Extreme speeding that was sanctioned by police officers also raises some liability issues for those officers and for the police department if any other officers were aware of the conduct.

A county attorney spokesperson says that if officers were in fact escorting the sports cars, that action was against department policy and the investigation will uncover any wrongdoing.

Witnesses say that the sports cars had their license plates covered with tape and that they were weaving in and out of the other traffic on the highway. One witness wrote in his complaint “I had the great pleasure today of nearly being killed by, not one, but two, Lamborghinis traveling in excess of 110 mph… The state is very lucky no one was killed.”

One of the participants was allegedly New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, although this has not been confirmed.

“This is a very serious and disturbing matter for a couple of reasons, but particularly in terms of the disregard for public safety by all those allegedly involved,” said a spokesperson for New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

Source: Bloomberg, “N.J. State Police Investigating Sports-Car ‘Death Race,'” Terrence Dopp and Elise Young, April 23, 2012.

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