Los Angeles: Throughout the nation, illegal street racing has caused untimely deaths and serious injuries to participants and innocent bystanders. Enforcement efforts have resulted in hundreds of individuals being cited or arrested for vehicle code and municipal violations. Hundreds of vehicles have been impounded by law enforcement, but most are returned to the driver without significant impact. The violators have served minimal time, participated in community service, or paid a fine. In retrospect, the legal consequences have not impacted our young drivers enough to make them stop or realize the ramifications of their actions.
In order to send a strong message to both the hard core street racer and our youth, the Los Angeles City Council enacted Los Angeles Municipal Code 41.70.2 (Nuisance Vehicles), to provide for the seizure and forfeiture of vehicles used in a motor vehicle speed contests and exhibition of speed. In short, the vehicles can be crushed if found to be a nuisance vehicle.
Operations-Valley Bureau’s goal is to reduce traffic collisions and preserve lives.
On October 6, 2004, at about 12:05 a.m., the Community Effort to Combat Auto Theft team (CECAT), Valley Traffic Division, Air Support Division, and Van Nuys Area Senior Lead Officers combined their efforts and held a street racer task force. They received a complaint of street racing in the 8000 block of Haskell Avenue. The team observed more than 35 vehicles drive into the area and set up for a street race. The team videotaped two Ford Mustangs stage in the middle of the street with the flagman standing between them. The race started as the spectators gathered and cheered.
The team arrested both drivers, the flagman, and nine spectators (including five juveniles).
The adults were booked at Van Nuys Area Police Station. The juveniles were released from custody to their parents and cited to court.
A short video clip of the race is available for viewing upon request.
Anyone with information regarding street racing in the San Fernando Valley is requested to call CECAT at 818-756-8138. On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk, at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).
This news release was prepared by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section at 213-485-3586.