CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

SLC Police announce 15 arrests for illegal street racing

Jul 18, 2022, 5:30 PM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:29 am
illegal street racing...
Image of operation addressing illegal street racing in SLC on July 15, 2022. Photo credit: Salt Lake City Police Department

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Police Department has reported the results of a “coordinated operation” with the Utah Highway Patrol to stop illegal street racing.

Police said that on July 15 and into the early hours of July 16, they surrounded the area of 1100 South between 4800 West and 5500 West. After this, they were able to make 15 arrests and tow 14 cars.

Some of the citations issued include speed contest or exhibition on a highway and failure to stop or respond at command of police. Other citations include reckless driving, possession of controlled substance, hit and run, and operating a vehicle without insurance.

They refer to this location as the industrial area of the Pioneer Division of Salt Lake City. And they report that this area is known for street racing because of it’s “long and wide open streets.”

“Illegal street racing events in Salt Lake City have previously drawn hundreds of people,” Salt Lake City police said in a press release, “and have resulted in numerous criminal activities including reckless driving, illegal weapon possession, illegal gambling, and aggravated assaults.

They credited the UHP, along with the SLCPD Pioneer Bike Squad in the effort.  Also credited are the SLCPD Gang Unit, the Investigations Division and the Patrol Divisions.

Lawmakers addressed illegal street racing this year

On March 22, 2022, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed SB53 into law. It amended the existing reckless driving offense to include certain speeding violations in Utah’s reckless driving code.

According to our news partners at KSL.com, the bill created a minimum fine for driving over 100 miles per hour, and made participating in a street race a class A misdemeanor that could mean a year of jail time as well as a $2,500 fine.

The impact of illegal street racing

According to police, many of the 24-hour, seven-days-a-week stores in this area are negatively affected by the racing. 

“Both the racing and the large crowds that gather to watch, gamble, and cheer them on … have impacted business operations, inhibited distribution of goods and critical materials, and effectively caused some businesses to close,” SLCPD said in a statement.

Additionally, Salt Lake City police report that calls for their services related to illegal street have greatly increased. Specifically, the numbers rose from 71 in 2019 to 409 in 2020. That represents a 476% increase in one year.

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