CHP gets $1.5 million to tackle aggressive speeders, street racing

The ongoing battle by local law enforcement to end street racing in the Santa Clarita Valley got some help from the federal government this week with a $1.5 million grant.

California Highway Patrol officials announced Tuesday that they received a $1.5 million grant for the Regulate Aggressive Driving and Reduce Speed IV program.

The RADARS IV was put together to reduce the number of fatal and injury traffic collisions attributed to speed and the number of people killed and injured in those collisions.

The CHP, working jointly with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, has vowed publicly to arrest those involved in street racing, and to crack down on the growing trend.

Speed and aggressive driving continue to be a major cause of death and injury on California roadways, CHP officers noted in a news release issued Tuesday about the grant.

With federal funding, the CHP is expected to continue pursuing its lifesaving endeavor to reduce crashes caused by speed and aggressive driving.

In practical terms, the CHP plans to step up its enforcement. It plans to launch more public awareness campaigns statewide, focusing on speed-related causes of crashes. 

The RADARS IV program is expected to focus on street racing and sideshow activities, which, according to the CHP, are a growing problem statewide.

“Speeding not only endangers the life of the speeder, but everyone on the road around them,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley was quoted as saying in the news release.

“The RADARS IV grant enables our officers to improve highway safety and help prevent dangerous driving and deadly crashes,” he said.

In federal fiscal year 2016, speed was a factor in approximately 45% of all fatal and injury collisions in California, the CHP reported Tuesday.

That year, 36,297 speed-related crashes resulted in the death of more than 370 people and injury to nearly 53,000 others.

Last week, two out-of-towners were arrested on suspicion of street racing, allegedly in connection with a “speed contest” not far from where more than 100 people were cited two years ago.

On Sept. 30, sheriff’s deputies received a call reporting several cars racing in the Valencia Industrial Center area.

When deputies responded they saw multiple vehicles leaving the location driving at a high rate of speed, said Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station.

The scene was reminiscent of a massive raid carried out two years ago by the CHP and local sheriff’s deputies.

In June 2017, they arrested at least 109 people at an illegal street racing event in the Valencia Commerce Center in Castaic.

A total of 102 arrests were made for participating or simply watching the illegal speed event, CHP Capt. Edward Krusey said at the time.

Seven people were arrested on suspicion of organizing the illegal event or driving in it.

Funding for the RADARS IV program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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