Updated to clarify arrest and citation numbers.
A multi-agency crackdown on illegal street racing “sideshows” in Los Angeles County including the Santa Clarita Valley resulted in seven arrests and 102 citations during a raid in Castaic Thursday night, according to a news release from the SCV Sheriff’s Station.
The Sheriff’s Department and the SCV Sheriff’s Station’s Summer Enforcement Team (provided by the Fifth District Supervisor Katherine Barger for additional public safety patrols during the summer months) joined forces with the California Highway Patrol, Newhall Area and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office in the joint operation.
Led by Captain Edward Krusey of the CHP’s Newhall office, raid targeted illegal street racers and reckless drivers who were participating in what has become commonly known as a “sideshow.”
The operation was conducted in an industrial park in Castaic, which is heavily occupied by thousands of workers during the workday, but after business hours becomes a ghost town.
The long, wide asphalt streets attract street racers to perform “burnouts,” “donuts” and “drifting,” all of which are illegal and highly dangerous to the spectators who show up to watch.
A total of 109 arrests were made for participating or spectating at an illegal speed event, which is a misdemeanor.
Seven of those people were physically booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and their vehicles were towed as a result of the operation’s efforts.
In addition to the arrests of the drivers, 102 spectators were cited for spectating at an illegal speed event and released at the scene.
It isn’t just the reckless driving or racing that is illegal, as the onlookers discovered. A momentary loss of control, which can happen all too easily, can have devastating consequences for both the drivers and spectators.
Of those 102 spectators who were cited and released, 17 of them were minors.
Because street racing tends to be an activity of teens and young adults, parents can assist in making sure their children have no involvement with street racing as well as making certain they adhere to local curfew laws. One of the most common danger signs that their child is becoming involved may include having an illegally modified vehicle.
Street racing is extremely dangerous, both to participants and onlookers, with death or serious injury a frequent and unfortunate consequence. There are numerous locations and facilities where this hobby can be legally pursued and not place bystanders in peril.