Once again, the opening of a Fast and Furious movie has brought street racing to the forefront. And in Los Angeles, a 24 year old woman was killed and 6 were injured in an apparent racing related crash caused when Michael Villalobos apparently ran a red light over the weekend.
The Fast and the Furious franchise has been in the center of controversy since it the first movie opened in 2001. That weekend, 6 drivers were arrested under suspicion of racing and over 200 people were ticketed by the LAPD for watching races.
"We do see a spike in this kind of activity when you see movies like The Fast and the Furious," stated LAPD Lt. John Pasquariello.
It's not surprising to see law enforcement focused on street racing when you see a number come out from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration like 1047, their estimate of how many deaths occurred between 2001 to 2008 that are linked to street racing. It is not surprising when law enforcement cracks down on anything remotely related to street racing.
Consequences for a Vehicle Code 23109(a) violation can include arrest, your car being impounded for 30 days, jail for up to three months, revocation of your license, and fines that can reach over a $1000. For racing a car under dangerous conditions, those consequences may seem fairly benign considering potential risks involved. But many people are unaware that even if you are a spectator to street racing, you can have the same sentence.
There are also numerous other vehicle code violations that you may be charged with that are related to speed racing . One of those is exhibition of speed, Vehicle Code 23109(c) where a quick chirp of the tires can also get you jail time, a suspension, your car impounded and your license revoked.
Remember when you are driving that because of the Fast and the Furious and race related incidents many officers are receiving pressure to crack down on anything that looks suspicious. Those officers may not be willing to listen to an explanation of the circumstances like they would just a few years ago before deciding to put your license in jeopardy and write you up for a misdemeanor. Be careful out there.