Street car racing, stunts terrorizing California neighborhoods

Automotive

(NewsNation) —  Two people died in an apparent streetcar race that turned into a hit-and-run crash on Freeway 91 in Florence, Los Angeles on Saturday.

That deadly event was followed by a police call to disperse crowds after another illegal streetcar meet took place the following Sunday morning.

Both instances are examples of what is an ongoing issue for the California community, as street racers have been taking over local roads, performing dangerous stunts.

Moreover, they took place just after Orange County D.A. Todd Spitzer announced a new campaign to curb the problem as ongoing calls by residents and lawmakers for more to be done are renewed.

“These events are killing innocent people and we are fighting like heck to hold exhibitionists and street racers accountable,” he said during a news conference. “It’s out of control and we know it.”

On any given weekend, illegal racing, street takeovers and sideshows and street racing are popping up all over the country.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tells NewsNation that fatalities nearly doubled from 2019 to 2020, as it’s a problem that exploded during the pandemic when there were fewer cars on the roads.

One Duluth, Georgia man, for example, was just arrested last week for burning rubber during a test drive, just as Gov. Brian Kemp signed new legislation to fight crime, including street racing. 

“My message to everybody is that we are doing all that we can from a state perspective with our resources to continue to fight crime, to continue to go after street racing in our state,” Kemp said.

To help combat the uptick in illegal races, “Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift” star Sung Kang directed a new public service announcement.

“I make movies about going fast and furious and blowing up things in space. Who am I to preach on this … but I did lose a brother,” Kang said in a public relations release, referring to fellow actor Paul Walker, who was killed in a high speed crash in 2013.

Paul Walker’s younger brother Cody was also part of the campaign.

“Let’s be responsible,” he wrote.

“Don’t be dumb. Take it to the track. There’s somebody at home that loves you, that’s expecting you to return. It’s not worth the risk, I promise,” Cody Walker said.

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