Crime & Safety

CHP Steps Up Work to Halt Street Racing and Sideshows

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is intensifying its crackdown on illegal street racing and sideshows, which have been wreaking havoc on the state’s roads and endangering innocent lives. In an effort to raise awareness about the destructive consequences of these dangerous driving behaviors, the CHP has launched a new multimedia campaign. As part of this initiative, they unveiled a three-dimensional installation featuring an actual crashed vehicle on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

As a visual reminder, the campaign includes over 50 billboards that will be displayed throughout the state. These billboards, bearing the message “Thrills That Kill,” will be visible in areas of California with a high incidence of illegal street racing and sideshows, such as Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and the Central San Joaquin Valley. The campaign is expected to run throughout the summer months.

Illegal sideshows have been alarmingly prevalent in California, growing in scale and danger. In 2021, the CHP responded to over 7,300 incidents involving nearly 123,000 participants statewide. While the number of incidents decreased by approximately 50% last year, there is still much work to be done to ensure the safety of California’s communities and road users.

According to CHP Deputy Commissioner Troy Lukkes, illegal street racing and sideshows pose risks to lives, disrupt neighborhoods, and cause damage to private and public property. In some tragic cases, innocent people have lost their lives as a result of these activities. The CHP aims to convey a clear message throughout California that this perilous and illegal behavior will not be tolerated.

Over the past five years, illegal street racing and sideshows have led to 264 crashes. Among these incidents, 30 crashes were fatal and 124 resulted in injuries, all attributable to the recklessness of these activities.

To address this concerning trend, the CHP has collaborated with public safety partners and community-based organizations across the state. Through a combined effort, they are undertaking a robust education and enforcement campaign, encouraging responsible choices behind the wheel and striving to maintain safety on California’s roadways.

The CHP’s efforts have been supported by a one-time state budget allocation of $5.5 million, approved by the Governor at the request of California Assemblymember Vince Fong and former Assemblymember Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper. These funds are being utilized to bolster state and local task forces dedicated to ending the dangerous sideshow activities that have become a significant problem in communities statewide.

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