UPDATE: FOX 11 News Investigates Illegal Street Racing - KMSP-TV

UPDATE: FOX 11 News Investigates Illegal Street Racing

Posted: Updated:

More Action after a Fox 11 Investigates special report about illegal racing.

"We heard loud and clear from the advocates that are promoting legal street racing"  that from LA City Councilmember Joe Buscaino, who has filed a motion with the city asking the police department, the fire department, the chief legislative analyst and the city attorney, whether it is feasible to have a strip of land in the city, where street racing could be run in a safe, legal manner.

The issue has come up, as the number of accidents related to illegal street racing seem to be increasing, or at least becoming more noticeable to the public. Street racers have been pushing for a legal place to do what they say "We love to do, and will continue doing regardless!" At the same time, as the motion itself indicates that " in addition to the safety hazard posed by racing, neighborhoods are subjected to late-night noise from the cars and the spectators assembled to observe a race."  Councilmember Buscaino wants to compare the expenditures in police response calls, emergencies, and even repairs to public property from high speed gatherings, to the cost of running a location that could be used for legal racing.

Buscaino says, in his interview with Fox 11, he won't act if the City Attorney Mike Feuer finds the liability of a city location to be too high.   "While not all the racers would adhere to whatever legal option we may come up with," adds the councilmember, "a controlled location may reduce the burden that illegal racing poses to the city"

He actually wants to get the word out with the "help of media partners, like Fox 11", to find a possible location. The Port of Los Angeles, where street racing was legal back in the 80's, is no longer an option.

 


 

MORE RAW VIDEO: More street racing video can be found on our YouTube channel here.

It's a world that many people have only been exposed to through movies such as The Fast and the Furious: the hardcore faction of the car culture dominated by illegal street racers. The underground world of ‘burnouts', ‘donuts', and street racing attracts thousands to floating parties. Racers say they'll get off the streets if they get a plot of land dedicated to their illegal gathering. At least one Los Angeles city councilman is listening to their plea.

Councilmember Joe Buscaino remembers the days when the Port of Los Angeles used to set aside a long track of road for legal racing. So does the head of the of the Brotherhood of Street Racers, Donald Galas, saying "I can't guarantee that all the accidents and other public safety issues would go away with a legal track, but they would definitely be reduced!"  Buscaino does agree, but explains the Port of Los Angeles is not going to allow the street racing, but says  "we have to find a location for these kids. I've seen the accidents, I get it!..."

"I don't care if I die" says one young street racer, lining up at one of the many illegal race sites that pop up every Friday night all over Los Angeles. The sound of motors revving, and tires spinning is deafening, as he continues" "this is our life, we are going to do it, no matter what!". Would he go to a legal track? "yes, he says, but nothing too far, like Irwindale!"

Irwindale allows vehicles, for a fee, to use the speedway to race on Thursday night. Many car clubs use the facility, but for a teen, who has put all his money into his vehicle, the idea of driving 45 miles to go to Irwindale, to wait in a long line is not as appealing as going down the street to a commercial area in let's say, San Pedro, or Compton, and doing several runs in an hour.

There is also the money. Fox 11 has obtained video of races, where over 7 thousand dollars has gone on the line. "You are serious?!" exclaims Councilmember Buscaino, when he sees the images. "If we set up a legal location, you are not going to see this, it's illegal to bet!" Also gone would be the underage drinking that prevails in many of the crowded meets, the unsafe tire squealing doughnuts-just feet away from onlookers, and quite a few things that do make the adrenaline run for those who are into the races.

"I still think a lot of it would be cut down with a legal track " adds another young racer, "most real racers don't want anything to do with the side show stuff " that attracts even bigger crowds. Many of those same kids insist the hobby has kept them away from gangs and other trouble. Dan Galaz agrees. Aside from pushing City Officials, the Brotherhood is trying to change the perception of a dangerous, and sometimes deadly, practice in neighborhoods, where residents have been resistant. Still, Buscaino has assigned a liason to work with the groups interested in coming up with a legal solution.

And now that Fox 11 is raising the issue, we understand that his office is drafting a motion asking the City Attorney to report back on the legal viability of having a dedicated strip of road for legal racing, in the City of Los Angeles.

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