TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Tucson Police are cracking down on illegal street racing after multiple complaints were made.
“The Tucson community is tired of reckless and self-centered individuals flying past them at crazy speeds, cutting them off, or nearly involving them in collisions. And put simply, we won't tolerate a single road in our city made too dangerous for the public to use,” said Chief Chris Magnus.
TPD reports the number of drivers cited for taking to the streets to illegally race more than doubled in 2020 to 17 citations compared to 2019 when just 7 were issued.
In just the first month of 2021, there have been 7 citations issued, according to Tucson Police.
Chief Magnus explained the crime has spiked since the pandemic hit, with racers taking advantage of the empty streets when the county was under a curfew.
“What makes it difficult to enforce has been much of this occurs at the time that we're busiest with handling other calls for service, which typically are weekend nights, Friday and Saturday, and later at night. And so, that has been one of the challenges in responding to community concerns about this," he said.
Chief Magnus explained to solve the growing issue, the police department will be pulling more resources to up enforcement —like air support, overtime for officers. The Chief explained the additional resources to fund this is coming out of our pockets.
“The rest of us are having to pay for their selfishness- which is unacceptable,” said Chief Magnus.
Tucson Police explained those taking to the streets illegally can expect a range of consequences that will hit their pockets.
- A hit to their car insurance
- Car impound/taken as evidence
- $2,500 fine
- Jail time
- Additional charges
“We are working with city and county prosecutors. We're going to utilize all available statutes and ordinances. We'll also explore legislative options to toughen the consequences for this dangerous behavior, working with law enforcement and others in various Arizona cities that are also experiencing the same kind of problems that we are here,” said Chief Magnus.
However, the consequences are bigger than just that; illegal street racing can cost lives.
"Over the last two years--169 individuals who have lost their lives on our streets. 40% of that is related to speed. We're taking a holistic view though, 40% some type of impairment was involved,” said Captain James Scott, traffic division.
To report illegal street racing, TPD has rolled out a new reporting survey on their website, but you can always call them at 88-CRIME.