(CBS) Law enforcement agencies across California are uniting for a “zero tolerance” enforcement campaign against illegal street racing and sideshows. The California crackdown coincides with the release of “Fast X” — the latest film in the “Fast and Furious” franchise that police say glamorizes street racing.
Scenes from the new movie “Fast X” are happening all over California and law enforcement is cracking down. Police say the illegal activity is happening all across the state.
“We warned you. You have to stop doing this,” said LA County Sheriff Robert Luna, “You’re impacting peoples’ lives negatively and it’s costing some lives as well.”
Since 2015, instances of illegal street races, road takeovers and sideshows have quadrupled in California. The California Highway Patrol says over a five-year period, the state recorded 264 crashes that killed 30 and injured 124 others. But, police say, the danger doesn’t stop there:
“We have seen in this city here not just death to spectators but also violence in regards to shootings and murders that have occurred as a result of street sideshows,” said LAPD Chief Michel Moore.
Torrance mother Lili Trujillo Pucket says her daughter was killed “just because of the thrill of speed.”
Puckett formed the advocacy group “Street Racing Kills” after losing her 16-year-old daughter Valentina in an 80 mph street race in 2013.
“She died in the middle of the night on the cold asphalt without me being there for her when she took her last breath,” Puckett said.
She said her daughter was getting a ride home from a friend when he engaged in a street race.
“She became a body, she became a number, she no longer had a name.”
LA Police Chief Michel Moore says illegal driving activity spikes when movies form the “Fast and Furious” franchise hit theaters.
“Their activities and their profit, their greed of what they achieve by promoting these activities is having a true and real consequence in the loss of life,” he said.
Moore is urging movie makers and businesses that provide equipment and technology to illegally enhance cars to recognize and take responsibility for the impact they have in promoting illegal and dangerous activities.
Police are also encouraging people to educate themselves about the dangers of reckless driving and avoid participating.
Those caught driving in illegal sideshows and street races could lose their licenses, pay hefty fines, spend time in jail and lose their coveted cars. A new state law also mandates penalties even if people are just spectators.