SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Officials with California Highway Patrol and AAA spoke Friday on the dangers of street racing and the activity surges during the pandemic.
According to CHP, in 2020, officers responded to more than 25,000 calls involving illegal street racing around California. CHP said this is an increase of more than 3,500 calls compared to 2019.
The results are dangerous and potentially deadly. In June, a suspected street racing crash in Chula Vista left a grandmother dead and two children injured. This month, a group of people stopped traffic in Lincoln Park as cars did donuts in the middle of the crowd — similar to an incident last fall in Solana Beach.
Friday, officials with the CHP and AAA joined the group Street Racking Kills and an aunt who lost her niece in a street racing crash to speak out against illegal street racing and discuss efforts to prevent incidents from happening.
AAA is encouraging Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign a bill heading to his desk that would crackdown on street racing and announce new partnerships with law enforcement and traffic safety groups to addressing the issue.
"These are very violent crashes because of the speed that's involved in them and you know research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety find that even moderate increases in speed at the time of the crash drastically increases your chances of severe injury or death and it also cancels out many of the safety features in your vehicles, like airbags," said Doug Shupe, AAA spokesperson.
Shupe recommended that anyone who sees street racing on roadways should slow down to create distance between the vehicles and find a safe place to report the activity, time, and location to law enforcement. He added that it's best not to confront anyone suspected of street racing because they could become aggressive.
He added, "also, don't like these social media posts. Because a lot of these people are bragging about street takeovers and the more your like it, it just fuels their desire to do that."