September was a busy month for the Garden Grove Police Department’s traffic division in Southern California. In a concerted effort to crack down on street racing and accompanying “takeovers,” the Orange County city wrote a total of 823 traffic citations including 273 for loud exhaust. They also impounded 28 vehicles, and made nine arrests for drunk driving and five arrests for street racing.
“To date,” the police department reported on its Facebook page, “#GardenGrove has seen a 79% decrease in fatal collisions, from 2021. This decrease is due to the ongoing education and enforcement from the #AccidentReductionTeam (ART), in partnership with the California Office of Traffic Safety.”
Garden Grove’s police force may or may not be taking too much credit for that drop in fatal collisions. So many factors, from random chance to economic activity, can be variables there. But Garden Grove’s increased enforcement against street racing and takeovers is part of a nationwide increase in awareness of these illegal activities. Street takeovers – where groups shut down traffic to put on burnout exhibitions, donut antics and general automotive mayhem – have become a particular focus as many see the natural expansion of such mass lawlessness into things like crowd-based looting and store invasions.
Street takeovers have also become regular features on many local news programs. This is one from KCBS in Los Angeles.
With a population of more than 170,000, Garden Grove isn’t small, but it’s hardly huge either. That’s a lot of citations for a month or so of effort. Takeovers may be a relatively new twist, but street racing has been around since the invention of running. It’s unlikely to end any time soon. Tamping it down, however, may be possible.
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