Spike in Street Racing Has L.A. Seeking New Approaches

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Following reports of dangerous ``street takeovers'' in the San Fernando Valley, a Los Angeles City Council committee today moved forward with a plan to re-evaluate the city's current laws and efforts to crack down on the illegal activity.

Street racing is a decades-old problem in the Valley, but in recent years has evolved into what are commonly referred to as street takeovers, where a large number of drivers close down a street while other motorists perform dangerous and reckless stunts in the middle of an intersection, according to a motion introduced by Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander and approved by the Public Safety Committee.

``These events can not only cause damage to public and private property, but put the participants' lives in danger as well as spectators, law enforcement and the general public,'' Englander wrote.

Organizers typically utilize social media to quickly and efficiently set up such an event, often within private social media circles, which can make it extremely difficult for law enforcement to determine where and when the illegal races will occur, according to the motion.

Englander's motion follows two recent reports by the Los Angeles Daily News, which documented several large street takeovers that occurred in the Valley in the Devonshire Division.

If approved by the full City Council, the motion would direct the Los Angeles Police Department, with the assistance of the City Attorney's Office, to report on all of the city's current ordinances, laws and fines related to street racing, anti-street racing programs in effect, as well as any and all suggestions to increase penalties, fines or efforts of the LAPD in order to successfully combat illegal street racing citywide.

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