Two young men cited for street racing

File photo: Tire marks cover the road on Constellation Road in Valencia, near where actor Paul Walker was killed in a car crash on Nov. 30, 2013. A recent street racing operation in the area recently netted more than 100 arrests, many of which were addressed in court Thursday. Katharine Lotze/Signal
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While lawyers are still whittling their way through a summer list of young men accused of engaging in an illegal speed contest, deputies are still pulling young drivers over for street racing.

“One of our deputies caught two young men having a ‘speed contest’ when patrolling the Valencia area last Wednesday night,” Shirley Miller wrote Monday in a post on the sheriff’s social media site.

“It was around 10:30 p.m. when he heard and saw the sounds of suspicious activity — tires screeching, loud roaring of engines,” she wrote.

“He saw two cars at an intersection near Valencia Boulevard and then traveling side-by-side on The Old Road, accelerating at an increasingly high rate of speed.

A traffic stop was conducted, and both vehicles were pulled over.

“The driver of the one vehicle was a 19-year-old from Porter Ranch. He admitted to the deputy he was street racing, and it was a ‘stupid mistake.’

“He said the other driver, a 20-year-old Saugus man, was his friend, and his brother was a passenger with him,” Miller wrote on her post

The deputy issued both drivers citations for engaging in a speed contest, and impounded both vehicles for 30 days.

He talked to them about driver safety and speed racing related deaths.

This past summer, deputies with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station and California Highway Patrol officers came together in a joint forces effort to put the brakes on street racing in the Santa Clarita Valley, arresting or citing at least 109 people at an illegal street racing event in Castaic.

A total of 102 arrests were made for participating or simply watching the illegal speed event, California Highway Patrol Captain Edward Krusey told The Signal on June 30.

Seven people were arrested for organizing the illegal event or driving in it.

At least three of the seven accused street racers have, in the last couple of months, entered pleas in court which demanded they participate in a diversion program set up by the courts to discourage street racing, as opposed to a sentence calling for incarceration.

On Jan. 1, 2015, Los Angeles County adopted the pilot program, effective until Jan. 1, 2020, wherein judges would have the discretion to offer diversion to misdemeanor offenders, over the objection of prosecutors.

The bill is intended to be a diversion program for first-time offenders in Los Angeles County. It gives the judge the option to defer sentencing for up to 12 months for those who plead guilty or no contest to certain misdemeanors.

Taking part in the program could mean completing a term of community service, paying restitution if there were damages or writing a letter of apology.

In the meantime, local sheriff’s deputies are hoping young drivers get the message.

In closing her social media post, Miller said: “There are a lot of contests you can have with your friends — but please no speed contests. They are dangerous, they can kill you, your friends, and innocent motorists who just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time — it’s not just fun and games.

“We hope these two men learned their lesson,” she said, referring to the two cited Wednesday night.

“It was an expensive mistake — no car for 30 days, and the impound fees will top $1,400 per vehicle, and that doesn’t even include the citation fine,” she said.

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on Twitter @jamesarthurholt


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