Street racing: Task Force issues 217 citations in West San Fernando Valley

A task force aimed at curbing street racing in the West San Fernando Valley has issued 217 citations since it was funded by Councilman Bob Blumenfield's office in January, the councilman announced Monday.

The Street Racing Task Force is part of the Los Angeles Police Department Valley Traffic Division and issued 55 citations for speeding, 64 for not stopping at stop signs, 10 for running red lights and more than 60 for modified exhausts that can be nuisances for residents, Blumenfield's office said.

On Jan. 25, the Los Angeles City Council approved Blumenfield's request to allocate $100,000 from his office's discretionary funds to pay police overtime to support specialized enforcement against street racing and speeding in his district.

The councilman cited constituents "who are often woken up in the middle of the night by a half dozen cars going three times the speed limit, screeching around turns in what were recently quiet neighborhoods."

The task force was funded for five months to target areas of organized racing and speeding. The chosen areas include Vanalden Avenue from Gleneagles Drive to Ventura Boulevard, Valley Circle Boulevard and Victory Boulevard, and other Council District 3 locations that Blumenfield said are used for street racing or frequent speeding.

One operation on May 5 resulted in 23 vehicles impounded for alleged street racing and related offenses, Blumenfield's office said, and 31 drivers were cited for illegal modifications on their vehicles.

LAPD Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton said that "vehicles that were impounded and citations issued can result in enforcement activity up to and including permanently seizing the impounded vehicle for repeat violators and heavy fines for engaging in illicit street takeover and street racing activity."