LA City Council Seeks Law to Crack Down on Street Racing Promoters

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
October 19, 2021 Updated: October 19, 2021

LOS ANGELES —The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Oct. 19 to explore making it illegal to encourage, promote, instigate, assist, facilitate, aid, or abet a street race or reckless driving exhibition.

The idea for the ordinance—which would be modeled after one adopted by San Jose—was introduced by Councilman John Lee.

“Over recent years, the internet and social media have made it even easier for organizers of these illegal events to organize and promote them, despite the best efforts of law enforcement,” Lee said in his motion.

San Jose’s ordinance made being involved in street racing—whether it’s promoting, instigating, assisting, facilitating aiding, or abetting—punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or up to six months in jail. Lee’s motion directed the city attorney to report on the feasibility of adopting a similar
ordinance in Los Angeles.

The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who introduced a motion that the City Council passed on Sept. 14 aimed at curbing illegal street racing by adding deterrents at common locations of races.

In introducing that motion, Rodriguez noted that street racing typically happens in areas with wide, straight roads that have low levels of traffic and easy access to freeways and major roadways that allow participants to quickly disperse.

The motion would seek to deter racing in those areas by introducing traffic calming measures, such as street humps, rumble strips, raised center medians, curb extensions, and traffic circles.

“Enforcement cannot be the only solution,” Rodriguez said after introducing the motion on Aug. 3. “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.”