LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The Los Angeles City Council today approved Councilman Bob Blumenfield's request to allocate $100,000 from his office's discretionary funds to pay police overtime to support specialized enforcement against street racing and speeding in his district.
``I have constituents who are often woken up in the middle of the night by a half dozen cars going three times the speed limit, screeching around turns in what were recently quiet neighborhoods. This isn't just a quality of life issue, people are dying and this is beyond unacceptable,'' Blumenfield said in a statement Wednesday.
``We've seen reckless driving spike all across the city and I'm not going to wait until someone else gets hurt or worse to do something in my district.''
Blumenfield said the $100,000 would be used to support LAPD overtime costs for specialized enforcement by the LAPD Operations Valley Bureau to target areas of organized racing and speeding over the next five months.
The chosen areas include Vanalden Avenue from Gleneagles Drive to Ventura Boulevard, Valley Circle Boulevard and Victory Boulevard, and other Council District 3 locations that Blumenfield said are used for street racing or frequent speeding.
``Illegal street racing and takeovers are at an all-time high in our city. In my 35 plus years with LAPD, I have never seen this level of blatant disregard for the safety of our fellow commuters,'' said LAPD Captain Andrew Neiman of the Valley Traffic Division.
``Sadly, current laws do not provide sufficient penalties to deter this lawlessness. Currently the most serious penalty is the impoundment of the violator's car for 30 days, but that rarely occurs. The additional funding for enforcement will certainly help make a difference, but our community will need to lobby for stronger legislation.''
Blumenfield noted a report from the Los Angeles Times in October that stated that, as of July, races and ``street takeovers'' in Los Angeles had increased by 27% in 2021. The councilman also cited that 289 people were killed in traffic accidents last year, 21% more than during the same period in 2020.
``We need more enforcement, and the people who are making our streets more dangerous need to be held accountable. Angelenos deserve to be able to go for an evening walk without being threatened by people going 100 mph through residential neighborhoods,'' Blumenfield said.
The councilman also added new stop signs and bollards on parts of Vanalden and is working to get new speed tables installed, which the Los Angeles Department of Transportation is studying as a precursor to installation.