Los Angeles, CA August 3, 2021 — Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez introduced legislation today in an effort to crack down on illegal street racing which is an ongoing nuisance and public safety issue on streets throughout the City of Los Angeles. Councilwoman Rodriguez also introduced a resolution in support of state bill AB 3 (Fong) that would increase penalties for a person engaging in a motor vehicle exhibition of speed while participating in a sideshow.
Illegal street racing and intersection takeover activities have seen a rise in the San Fernando Valley which ultimately impacts our communities and local businesses. While enforcement has been the primary method to curtail this dangerous activity, the City’s limited authority to increase fines and penalties, along with the overabundance of locations, makes law enforcement challenging.
“Enforcement cannot be the only solution,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez. “We need to also include a proactive approach using street design elements that make it difficult for drivers to conduct the type of street takeovers and speed events that are endangering our communities.”
A coordinated effort of enforcement and traffic management strategies is needed to develop techniques in areas known for street racing. Illegal street racing generally occurs over a short section of a wide, straight local road with low levels of traffic volumes and easy access to freeways and major arterials that allow participants to quickly disperse. These characteristics render traffic engineering techniques, particularly traffic calming measures, an effective and cost-efficient means of deterring illegal racing, since they can be targeted to specific locations.
Traffic calming is a tool designed to limit travel speed by introducing physical roadway geometric changes. Examples include speed humps, rumble strips, raised center medians, curb extensions, and traffic circles. In light of the increasingly dangerous nature of illegal street racing, the City should examine the feasibility of both temporary and permanent traffic calming measures.
Today’s legislation directs the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles Police Department’s Street Racing Task Force to provide recommendations for traffic calming measures that can be implemented at locations where illegal street racing occurs. It further recommends quarterly meetings to report street racing data and updates to Council Offices.
The Department of Transportation is directed to report on data such as Vision Zero related to traffic incidents at intersections or other street locations and to map this data to highlight areas with high levels of street racing. The legislation further directs the Department of Transportation, the Bureau of Street Services and the Los Angeles Police Department Street Racing Task Force, to provide recommendations for street treatments and programmatic steps to pilot these treatments in Council District 7, and further, Citywide.
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez serves as the City’s Chair of Public Safety and represents the 7th Council District in the Northeast San Fernando Valley which include the neighborhoods of Sylmar, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Lake View Terrace, Sunland, Tujunga, North Hills, Shadow Hills, and La Tuna Canyon