Sen. Stern Announces Legislation to Combat Street Racing

Annemarie DonkinBy Annemarie Donkin      February 4, 2022

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Sen. Stern Announces Legislation to Combat Street Racing
Photo by Annemarie Donkin CA State Sen. Henry Stern announces new legislation to combat street racing and speeding. Joining him at the CHP West Valley Area Command in Woodland Hills, from left, are West Valley Area Commander, Captain Denis Ford, and L.A. City Councilmen Bob Blumenfield and John Lee. The legislation will target investments from new and existing resources, including the California Traffic Safety Program and the Highway Violence Task Force.
Street racing and speeding is an epidemic in Topanga, the Santa Monica Mountains, and throughout the San Fernando Valley. Recent street racing-related tragedies include fatalities in Westlake Village and in Van Nuys with the traffic death of a 16-year-old boy. There were three separate fatalities in West Hills: one involving a motorcycle on Roscoe and Fallbrook; one involving a single mother; and a third woman on Vanowen St. in an apparent street-racing incident. To combat side-shows, street racing and reckless driving, State Sen. Henry Stern (D-Los Angeles) announced legislation at a press conference at the California Highway Patrol West Valley Area Command in Woodland Hills on Jan. 28 in a concerted effort to prevent the exponential rise of death and injury due to speeding and racing. Called the “Bill to Enhance Penalties for Side-Shows, Street Racing and Lack of Public Safety Resources,” the legislation will look to target investments from new and existing resources, including the California Traffic Safety Program and the Highway Violence Task Force. The bill will also propose enhanced penalties for street racing and side-shows, such as vehicle impoundment and demolition. “The Mayor’s Vision Zero will not work until there are sufficient resources and authority to enforce traffic safety,” Stern wrote on his website. Joining Stern at the press conference, L.A. City Councilman Bob Blumenfield announced he has allocated $100,000 from his discretionary funds to support LAPD overtime costs for specialized enforcement by the LAPD Operations Valley Bureau to target areas of organized racing and speeding over the next five months. Blumenfield cited an October report from the Los Angeles Times that as of July, races and street takeovers in Los Angeles had increased by 27 percent in 2021; that 289 people were killed in traffic accidents last year; 21percent more than during the same period in 2020. “This is not a victimless crime,” Blumenfield said. “People should not be killed by negligent behavior…when you are in that vehicle, you are driving a weapon.” Sen. Stern also commented on how easy it is to forget that our cars are dangerous. “Street racing, the use of cars as weapons, are not victimless crimes. They are certainly not a game or a vanity project to put on your TikTok® or on Instagram® to be proud of,” he said. “If your attitude in L.A. is to recklessly use your car as a weapon, then we are coming for you. It can’t just be engineered and it can’t just be education; there have to be consequences. “We are pursuing legislation to get our men and woman in law enforcement the resources they need so they are never outnumbered and we can attack the street racing and side-show epidemic at its roots. They also need to have the personnel in place throughout the Valley, the Santa Monica Mountains, and the entire Southern Division, and they need the resources to do their job,” Stern said.
Annemarie Donkin
      February 4, 2022

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February 4, 2022

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