Crackdown underway on illegal street racing in San Diego County

Complaints spiked in February

SAN DIEGO - Authorities say they have seen a spike in street racing incidents around San Diego County in recent months.

In spring 2012, street racing on state Route 52 led to two deaths in a horrific crash. It was the culmination to a deadly decade in San Diego that dates back to the release of the first "Fast & Furious" movie in 2002.

There are also several YouTube videos posted recently, celebrating smoking tires, a drag race and eluding police.

10News showed the videos to California Highway Patrol Officer Jim Bettencourt. They were supposedly shot locally, not in Hollywood.

"We see in the movies when racers do crazy stuff, when their car flips, it blows up, they dust themselves off. But in reality, there's no reset, no turning back and the end result, in most cases, is death," said Bettencourt.

The circle of victims is a wide one -- families, of course, but also first responders who pick up the pieces.

"I've responded to over 85 fatal crashes in north San Diego County in the last two years and everyone has a story," said Bettencourt.

He called it "sad" and "not fair to them and not fair to their loved ones."

"We have to go to their family and notify their family when they're involved in a tragedy and they're not coming home at the end of the night," Bettencourt added.

With the spike in street racing reports, the CHP is watching these areas closely:

-- Interstate 15 near East Via Rancho Parkway
-- State Route 78 close to North Twin Oaks Valley Road
-- Kearny Villa Road near MCAS Miramar
-- State Route 905 in Otay Mesa

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