I first learned about Project E.R.A.S.E. (Eliminating Racing Activity On Streets Everywhere) on a chilly late April afternoon at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (CTMP). There were many officers present this day – a collaboration of seven police services with the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of the Environment – to spread the word towards eradicating street racing everywhere.
The message from the large number of officers on hand was clear, “Take it to the track, and leave it at the track.”
It totally makes sense, but it's one thing to say, and another thing to do. We try our best to spread the word, yet the statistics tell the story of 107 charges and six arrests related to street racing thus far in 2016.
After my initial Project E.R.A.S.E. story was published, I received a call from Didier Marsaud, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications at Nissan Canada. He had an idea in mind to showcase the project's message to keep racing on the track by inviting one of the officers as a special guest driver during the upcoming Nissan Micra Cup race weekend at CTMP.
In my mind, the plan was a good one, and one that continued a bigger, more visual push of that message with more marketing dollars behind it. I connected the two parties and voila, we have Staff Sergeant Chuck Kaizer of the Ontario Provincial Police, Highway Safety Division suiting up to compete in the No. 23 car at the upcoming Nissan Micra Cup races during Labour day weekend on September 3 and 4.
“By collaborating with the Micra Cup, we’re sending a clear message to Ontario drivers who feel dangerous driving on the public roadways is okay – racing does not belong on public roads - there’s a safe way to satisfy the ‘need for speed,’ and it’s more attainable than some might think,” said Staff Sergeant Kaizer.
Staff Sergeant Kaizer will be a part of a close to 30 car field that weekend, but regardless of his finish, he will be able to showcase the original message on that late April day at CTMP of how much fun it is to race on track without the potential of hurting any innocent bystanders. On top of that, he will be supplied an even playing field in the Micra Cup, as everyone races the same race-specced subcompact Nissan Micra priced at $22,900.
“We saw an incredible opportunity for the Nissan Micra Cup to collaborate with Project E.R.A.S.E., to help raise awareness of the dangers of street racing, while providing a safe, regulated alternative for those with a penchant for speed and competition,” said Joni Paiva, president of Nissan Canada Inc.
In that past article, I wrote about not having the answer to stop street racing and questioned whether the police services have the manpower to be fully effective. Well, all I know is that a collaboration between Nissan Canada, the Nissan Micra Cup and project E.R.A.S.E. is a great start towards making change, and if they can pool their marketing powers together, we can hope to start seeing some results.
Even if it's a small change, that could be someone's son, daughter, father, or mother who just had their lives saved. And that's a win for all in my book.