Last year, I received an email from one of our Ward 2 neighborhood associations. Due to lack of traffic on east side streets during the COVID curfew, street racers had seen an opportunity and grabbed it. They used those wide, empty streets for organized racing, sometimes with speeds over 100 miles an hour.
Keep in mind, this isn’t just one overly aggressive show off driving at hazardous speeds down 22nd street. These races are organized events. Participants meet online and even have fans that come out to see them race. Drivers can come from as far away as Phoenix. Street racing gatherings can also include side shows with drivers doing stunts in parking lots for an audience.
In addition to the noise and disturbance for neighborhoods, this is, needless to say, dangerous to other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and even the spectators that come out to see the events. In the case of that neighborhood that contacted my office, my staff got in touch with Captain Colin King and Lieutenant Robert Garza from Operations Division East. Some redeployments seemed to deter activity in that area.
Over the last 60 days, ODE has paid particular attention to street racing. They have issued 190 hazardous moving violation citations, 134 civil traffic violations plus 169 non-hazardous violations. That last category covers both noise and illegal modifications to vehicles. In addition, there have been 58 criminal violations for things such as excess speed.
However, there are still some tools that the police would still like to have available to them. We will be discussing one this coming Tuesday: impounding the vehicles of those participating.
Currently, street racing is a misdemeanor and the drivers consider paying the fine a cost of the hobby. Given the amount of money drivers spend on these cars, TPD feels that impounding the vehicles would be a deterrent.
On Tuesday, we’ll be considering an ordinance that would allow the police to impound vehicles that participate in street racing.
Remember to call 911 if you see street racing, and feel free to call my office if it’s a constant problem in your area.
The @ReadySetRec van will be making an appearance at Vista del Rio Park (7575 E Desert Arbors Street) on March 11 from 2-4 pm and Claire Weeks - Terra del Sol Park (2001 S. Avenida del Sol) from 11 am - 1 pm. In addition to the regular play equipment, the Terra del Sol visit will include origami
For the rest of March:
16th - Case Natural Resource Park, 2 - 4 pm
18th - Morris K. Udall Park, 2 - 4 pm
19th - Jesse Owens Park, 3 - 5 pm
23rd - Harold Bell Wright Park, 2 - 4 pm
25th - Fort Lowell Park, noon - 2 pm
27th - Palo Verde Park, 11 am - 1 pm
The van came to Palo Verde Park this past Thursday and Palo Verde Park neighbor Fred Araiza got some photos.