The city of Santa Ana is pushing back on street racing, which has become a scourge all around Southern California as more racers are taking to public roadways that have become relatively empty because of coronavirus-related shutdowns. According to a news report in The Orange County Register, Santa Ana police are working on an initiative that would penalize both drivers who are speeding and people who gather around to watch them. Officials say they are looking at using new technology to identify street racers, teaming up with other cities to curtail racing events and working with the city’s enforcement to craft an ordinance that would also criminalize watching these types of events.
Recent Tragedies and Enforcement
There have been two recent events that have led to this crackdown. On July 5, 74-year-old Cirilo Adan was killed while crossing at the intersection of Bristol and Myrtle streets. He was struck by one of two drivers who were racing each other. On July 30, longtime Register editor, 67-year-old Eugene Harbrecht, was killed after his pickup truck was struck by a car, whose driver was also involved in a street race.
The drivers in both these cases have been criminally charged. The city of Santa Ana has long had a problem with street racing, but in recent months, they’ve seen an increase because of the pandemic. The Register reports that this year alone, there have been 17 police operations in Santa Ana targeting street racing, which have led to eight arrests, 16 cars impounded and 254 citations.
In addition to penalties, city officials are also looking at other deterrents such as narrowing some streets, putting in speed bumps and adding vandalism charges when drivers damage streets while racing. All over Orange County, officials are also seeing increases in illegal racing events on public roadways promoting a time and place. Hundreds crowd around intersections to watch these events as drivers take over intersections and do donuts and other stunts.
Street Racing is Dangerous and Illegal
Our experienced Orange County car accident attorneys are extremely concerned about this dangerous trend of street racing, which is causing injuries and fatalities not just in Orange County, but all over Southern California
. It is important to remember that racing on public roadways is illegal under California law.
Drivers will not only face criminal penalties but can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages or losses they cause. In addition to drivers, any car clubs or companies that sponsor such illegal races can also be held liable. If you or a loved one has been injured or if you’ve lost a loved one as the result of a negligent or dangerous driver, please call an experienced Orange County car accident lawyer who will fight to protect your rights and help you secure maximum compensation for your losses.