The city of Garden Grove, California is going on the offensive to deal with street racing and street takeover events. For a month beginning in late August, the police department says it issued a whopping 823 citations, including 273 for excessive or noisy exhaust. It also impounded 28 vehicles and arrested nine drivers suspected of operating a vehicle under the influence. It’s a bold strategy that stands out from other cities in the state.
Police Sgt. Royce Wimmer told the Orange County Register that the operation has been very strategic: “We would see certain nights of the week where these car crews, a lot of them are not from our city, but they come to our city… We get complaints and videos. … There are some parking lots that they tend to use and some of them are just police work and they see a bunch of cars heading into their town.”
The police department is also making some pretty big claims. “To date, #GardenGrove has seen a 79% decrease in fatal crashes, since 2021. This decrease is due to continued education and enforcement by the #Accident Reduction Team (ART), in partnership with the Office of Highway Safety. Of California”. If true, that would be a staggering improvement over the national average.
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Amazingly, over the course of a month from late August to late September and after placing additional officers on night shifts, the Garden Grove Police Department says it made five arrests in connection with street racing. Wander through his Facebook page and it seems the focus on street racing has really increased since August 5th when he posted about an increase in reckless driving and street racing.
On August 9, the department posted that it had stopped more than 100 cars, issued 84 citations, seized 8 vehicles, and made five arrests, including three for street racing. The following week, he nearly doubled most of those stats, but made no arrests related to street racing or reckless driving.
Sergeant Wilmer says that “we are taking a zero tolerance approach to any type of takeover, reckless driving or speeding. Anything that jeopardizes someone’s safety, we will do everything we can to hold that person accountable under the law.”
If these efforts prove successful, it would not be surprising to see other departments emulate the program. Nearby city Compton recently spent thousands of dollars to install raised speed bumps at intersections known to be popular places for street takeovers, but participants have not been deterred.