LOS ANGELES, CA – This week LA Councilmember Bob Blumenfield allocated $100,000 to fund a specialized enforcement by LAPD Operations Valley Bureau to address street racing and speeding in West Valley hot spots. These problems have long been a serious, deadly issue in the Valley and throughout the pandemic the danger has only escalated.
“I have 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. This isn’t just a quality of life issue, people are dying and this is beyond unacceptable,” said Blumenfield. “We’ve seen reckless driving spike all across the city and I’m not going to wait until someone else gets hurt or worse to do something in my district.”
“Illegal street racing and takeovers are at an all-time high in our City. In my 35 plus years with LAPD, I have never seen this level of blatant disregard for the safety of our fellow commuters,” said LAPD Captain Andrew Neiman of the Valley Traffic Division. “Sadly, current laws do not provide sufficient penalties to deter this lawlessness. Currently the most serious penalty is the impoundment of the violator’s car for 30-days, but that rarely occurs. The additional funding for enforcement will certainly help make a difference, but our Community will need to lobby for stronger legislation.”
According to an October 2021 report from the LA Times, races and street takeovers jumped 27% in 2021. More informal speeding and reckless driving has also been on the rise leading to much higher risks to not just other drivers but also pedestrians and cyclists. In a separate LA Times piece it was reported that 289 people were killed in traffic collisions last year, 21% more than the same period in 2020 and 19% over the same period in 2019. Last year, 486 residents were severely injured by motorists.
Blumenfield has recently been working with Tarzana residents to remedy ongoing speeding. For example he had new stop signs and new bollards installed on stretches of Vanalden Ave. This was the first step in a plan he outlined to the community to make physical changes to the street to deter racing and speeding. He also promised to get new speed tables installed and has gotten the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) engineers to undertake the studies to make it happen — the necessary precursor to installation which will happen this year.
Blumenfield stated, “We need more enforcement and the people who are making our streets more dangerous need to be held accountable. Angelenos deserve to be able to go for an evening walk without being threatened by people going 100 mph through residential neighborhoods.”
The funds will specifically support overtime costs for specialized police enforcement by Operations Valley Bureau for the next five months in specific targeted areas of organized racing and speeding including Vanalden Avenue from Gleneagles Drive to Ventura Boulevard, Valley Circle Boulevard and Victory Boulevard, and other CD3 locations that are used for street racing or have frequent speeding hazards as determined by the Council office in consultation with the LAPD.
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