Los Angeles Police are cracking down on illegal street racing in the city, following a recent increase in the activity. Early on April 20th, 44 people were arrested and their cars impounded during a sting operation in South Los Angeles. During the operation, 54 vehicles were towed and 209 citations were handed out to unlicensed drivers, drivers with suspended licenses, and spectators.
The entire operation took a week to plan, and was carried out by approximately 100 officers. Police spokespeople told ABC and KTLA that the races were organized through social media, and are expected to increase during the summer months.
Lieutenant Jodi Hutak of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department told KTLA why street racing was considered dangerous for both participants and spectators.
“They have high-end cars with modifications, they drive fast, often they’re under the influence of alcohol, and the increase in fatalities and traffic collisions is on the increase,” she stated.
The arrests covered drug offenses and fulfilled outstanding arrest warrants.
Unfortunately, the sting was unable to prevent a fatal crash in Playa Vista on April 25th. Shortly after 1 a.m., the driver of a four-door BMW lost control of his vehicle, struck the center divider, and was ejected from the car. Though the airbag had deployed on impact, the driver was pronounced dead at the scene, and crews closed three of the four lanes on the highway as they worked to clean up.
Witnesses to the accident state that the driver of the BMW was racing another motorist at the time of the collision, but were unable to describe the second vehicle. Many racing cars and roadsters can weigh up to 3,400 lbs, although some, like Shelby Cobras, are known to weigh much less. The average BMW sedan weighs around 4,000 lbs, which may have contributed to the severity of the accident.