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New barriers put up to stop drivers from doing donuts, burnouts in New Orleans parking lot

The property manager said something had to be done to prevent these kinds of illegal stunt shows.

NEW ORLEANS — A New Orleans shopping center is taking steps to keep drivers from doing donuts in the parking lot. 

Cellphone video shows what happens here in the 9600 block of Chef Highway after dark on certain weekend nights. You can see muscle cars driving recklessly and burning rubber to the cheers of spectators. 

Wednesday, a crew installed dozens of speed bumps in the parking lot. 

The property manager said something had to be done to prevent these kinds of illegal stunt shows.

“Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights, they start congregating, surround the parking lot, make their own little racetrack here,” Joanne Hughes from PMG Leasing, LLC said. “They even come with their generators and their own homemade lighting system.” 

Hughes added she was afraid someone might get hurt at one of these illegal events. 

“I understand that some of the windows have been hit with the pieces of tire that blow off when they do their donuts and the tires are flying,” she said.

Installer George Rodriguez hopes the speed bumps make the parking lot less attractive to organizers of outlaw stunt shows. 

“If they do a donut on top of it, they might hit the oil pan and that might destroy the car, underneath,” Rodriguez said. 

Donut contests are happening across the city. 

Last week, WWL-TV showed video of a similar gathering near St. Bernard Avenue and North Rampart Street in the Seventh Ward

New Orleans East neighbor Jonathan Caples says these events are dangerous. 

“Just the thought of a kid getting hit by a car or something like that is kind of harsh,” Caples said. “There are places for you to do stuff like that, I just don’t believe this area right here is the place for it.” 

The property manager says that there are times when the NOPD is her best friend out here at the shopping center. But she admits, the department’s inability to effectively intervene in rubber burning events like this is very frustrating. 

“Their attitude is they just don’t feel like they can control it,” Hughes said. “I don’t know what that means, whether they don’t have enough people to prevent it or they don’t have the time to pass through here.” 

Hughes added the burnout events have been happening in her parking lot for at least six months. 

The NOPD sent this statement: 

“NOPD actively responds to any reported incidents of vehicles driving recklessly. We do not tolerate such dangerous activity and work to disband groups involved and cite those found to be committing the offense. NOPD also continues to monitor and respond to known locations where such events have been reported. If citations are not able to be made on scene, detectives will use any and all evidence collected through investigation and take necessary enforcement action. Anyone witnessing such behavior is urged to call the NOPD to report the incident and to provide as much detail as possible, including location and those involved.”

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