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US Fact check: Claim that Georgia city has authorized street racing is satire

02:30  16 september  2021
02:30  16 september  2021 Source:   usatoday.com

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The claim: Georgia city is authorizing street racing to give the youth something fun to do

In mid-May, the Associated Press reported about a surge in street racing across America amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This increase resulted in police crackdowns and legislation aimed at toughening the penalties. Georgia is one of the states fighting back with new mandates.

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A Facebook post shared by a page called City of Rome, GA & Floyd County claims city commissioners in Rome, Georgia, are meeting to permit this activity.

"Martha Barry & Turner McCall and MLK Turner McCall intersections will be the designated spots for street racing on Friday and Saturday nights starting this Friday," reads the Sept. 13 post. "This will be a fun and safe activity for kids of all ages."

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The post accumulated more than 11,000 interactions on the first day.

USA TODAY reached out to the page for comment.

"We have received numerous inquiries," they said. "Even a few food vendors wanting to set up."

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The post, however, is satirical.

Post was shared on a satirical page

The page that made the post labels itself as "completely satirical" and "not affiliated with any government agency" in its About section.

But many users weren't in on the joke.

"Such a good idea!!! Either way racers going to race, this way at least there will be somewhat structure and nobody’s running from cops," wrote one commenter.

"Absolutely what the state of Georgia needed. There will always be Street racing legal or not," wrote another. "Having a place for these groups to go is an awesome idea. Many will not be racing on roads with the innocent. Great idea!"

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In May, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill that mandates at least 10 days of jail time for all drag racing convictions. Those convicted a third time within a five-year period are required to forfeit their vehicles.

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USA TODAY found no evidence that Georgia is allowing street racing. We reached out to the city of Rome for comment.

"The Facebook page, City of Rome, GA & Floyd County, is a satire page," said Kristi Kent, the communications director for the city. "Nothing that they post is correct, it is all meant to poke fun."

Kent said the page has generated confusion in the community, a point officials attempted to address in a Sept. 14 post on the official Rome Facebook page noting the other page is satirical.

Our rating: Satire

The claim that Rome, Georgia, is authorizing street racing to give the youth something fun to do is SATIRE, based on our research. The post was shared on a page that self-describes as satirical. A city official told USA TODAY no such ordinance has been passed.

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Our fact-check sources:

  • Associated Press, May 13, Street racing surges across US amid coronavirus pandemic
  • Governor Brian P. Kemp Office of the Governor, May 3, Gov. Kemp Signs Bill to Combat Street Racing in Georgia
  • City of Rome, GA - Government, Sept. 14, Facebook post
  • Kristi Kent, Sept. 14, Email exchange with USA TODAY

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Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Claim that Georgia city has authorized street racing is satire

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usr: 22
This is interesting!