‘Fast and damaging’: Angelenos say city and movie franchise owners must do more to curb dangerous street racing

Tmarks of rage tattoo the streets outside the Angelino Heights corner market made famous by the Fast and Furious films.

The latest installment began filming in the neighborhood on Friday, as residents and safety advocates protested on the streets. In a press conference, they said the car-centric franchise glorifies dangerous driving, which is especially problematic given the prevalence of traffic violence on the streets of Los Angeles.

In recent years, the number of people killed in car accidents has increased considerably. Last year was the deadliest in nearly two decades, with nearly 300 people killed in collisions. About half of those victims were walkers or bikers who were killed by drivers.

While street takeovers and races are not to blame for most of those deaths, residents and advocates argue that the movies promote speeding and other risky driving choices, which has had a powerful impact. influence on some car lovers. Add to that decades of street design choices that prioritize wide roads and high speeds and the results are predictably deadly.

“This community needs to be safe,” said Damian Kevitt, executive director of The streets are for everyone. “We are not trying to stop Hollywood, but Hollywood must be held accountable for its actions.”

Rising Street Acquisitions

What The LA Times has reported, Data from the Los Angeles Police Department shows that street raids increased 41% in the first six months of 2022 compared to the previous year.

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Bella, who declined to give her last name, has lived here for 17 years and said cars screech past her house at all hours of the day. Her 12-year-old daughter doesn’t want to play in the front yard.

“She sees this during the day: that car literally goes out of control in front of her house,” Bella said. “And she wonders ‘Is that car going to fly into my house?'”

One protester held a sign that read “Fast and Harmful,” but most carried photos of people alleged to have died in street racing, including 16-year-old Valentina D’Alessandro, who was killed in a Wilmington crash in 2013.

“The driver who killed my daughter changed my life forever,” Valentina’s mother, Lili Trujillo Puckett, said Friday. she established street racing killsa nonprofit organization that offers scholarships, a reckless driver mentoring program, and presentations on traffic safety for schools and community events.

What the protesters want

Among the protesters’ demands:

  • that NBC Universal, which owns the film franchise, invest in related community educational programs;
  • that the City of Los Angeles redesign community roadways to deter street racing
  • stronger leadership from state and local officials to hold dangerous drivers accountable.
A woman in a white spaghetti strap tank top with thin black pinstripes holds up a sign that reads "killer street racing" in red letters with the image of a crushed car front.  A man in a navy blue shirt is standing to the left of him.

Bella and her husband Rene said that Angelino Heights is a beautiful area with historic homes and long-time residents, but “now it’s like you’re frustrated, angry … you’re more concerned with what’s wrong than what’s right.” .

“This does not mean spending millions more on the police to try to catch up with street racing,” the advocates’ letter states, suggesting alternatives such as automated speed cameras, higher fines for impounded vehicles and license revocation. driving for repeat offenders.

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in a march report, city ​​staff suggested changes ranging from rumble strips to speed boards, which are extended speed bumps; the latter costs up to $50,000 for a set of two.

The city of Compton added ceramic bumps to several intersections earlier this month to prevent cars from going around in smoke-filled circles, but videos posted on Instagram shows that it did little to deter takeovers.

Fast and Furious Actor Paul Walker died in an accident in 2013 after the Porsche he was traveling in crashed into a utility pole and a tree. Authorities said the accident was due to unsafe speed: traveling at speeds of up to 93 mph in an area with a speed limit of less than half. The car was on a Santa Clarita street that the California Highway Patrol has referred to as “hot spot for street racers.

Walker had been in the middle of shooting scenes for furious 7. That film became the 10th highest-grossing film of all time.

What questions do you have about getting around Los Angeles?

Ryan Fonseca explores the challenges communities face in getting from point A to point B and potential solutions on the road, sidewalk, track, and bike path. ??‍♀️ ??‍? ?‍♂️ ? ? ? ?

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