Street takeovers have been getting worse in Southern California. If you live near a freeway or major street, at any time of the night you’re bound to hear burnouts, donuts or racing. It’s dangerous, and the their frequency has seemed to increase. It’s gotten to the point that the LA Times reports that LA County officials are looking to the public for advice on how to deal with street takeovers.
Takeovers were everywhere during the COVID-19 pandemic, when empty streets and freeways were literally clear of cars; night time street racers had a field day. When things got back to normal, these people proved they didn’t care and would do these same foolish activities in the middle of traffic, and sadly with deadly results. People have been seriously injured or killed during these takeovers. Not to mention the other dangerous things that go on like vandalism, shooting, and fights.
Local officials have tried to combat the takeovers, with little success. LA County officials want to know just how bad things are, so they have ordered an extensive report on the takeovers. They also want to know what the public thinks officials and law enforcement should do about them.
County Supervisor Holly Mitchell, who ordered the report, said the streets have become too dangerous, and it’s simply unacceptable for public safety.
“The mere act of walking across the street, returning home from work and the grocery store, has become hazardous in too many communities across L.A. County. And for all of us, I believe that’s unacceptable,” Mitchell said.
Officials already have a few ideas in mind for combating street takeovers, like harsher penalties, more speed cameras at busy intersections and even adding dedicated street racing venues where this stuff could be done legally. One other way to fight the takeovers is to let the people who participate in them see the realities of their actions: talking to and hearing from victims of street racing and takeovers. Like Cindy Enamorado, whose brother was injured and sister in law killed by street racing.
“Let them know that there’s consequences to their actions and what they can do by hearing impact stories from victims and how they’re destroying lives,” she said.
While county officials haven’t official set a date for a public forum, local residents across the county feel it’s long overdue.