Monday, March 16, 2009

Illegal Street Racing

Last week I had the opportunity to testify before the Connecticut General Assembly’s Transportation Committee in support of House Bill 5262, An Act Concerning the Impoundment of Vehicles Used for Illegal Street Racing. The purpose of the legislation would be to discourage Illegal street racing by allowing that anyone who engages in illegal street racing shall have the motor vehicle being operated by such person at the time of the violation impounded for thirty days. The legislation also provides for a series of fines. Here is a link to the bill:

Illegal street racing has been a growing menace in our city for some years, disturbing the peace and wreaking havoc on certain thoroughfares during the late night hours. Despite increased enforcement efforts, illegal street racers and those who patronize their activities have continued to pose a serious threat to public safety. The situation is extremely hazardous to participants as well as unsuspecting motorists who find themselves engulfed by the swarm of activity. This activity has been especially problematic for the department in that it occurs during peak times for “calls for service” necessitating the redeployment of critical resources from other parts of the city to maintain order and public safety.

Enforcement activities have including arresting spectators (it is illegal to be a spectator of illegal street racing); arrests for trespassing and /or interfering with police, and the issuance of thousands of infractions.

In 2008 alone the public costs associated with illegal street racing included approximately $50,000 for installation of road modifications by the City of Hartford Public Works Department (speed bumps to deter racing), approximately 728 HPD work-hours valued at $67,500.00, and untold costs to homeowners and business owners for property damage to lawns, parks, personal property, fences, and the hiring of security guards.

As spring is upon us you can be sure we will do everything we can to enforce quality of life issues and keep our streets safe. Hopefully, if enacted by the General Assembly, the additional enforcement tools provided in this legislation will help deter this hazardous and costly public safety situation. As always, I want to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

Visit this link on YouTube to see the extent and brazenness of illegal street racers in our area.


Anonymous said...

Incredible video footage. Thanks for the information about this important quality of life legislation - lets hope the General Assembly passes it.

Anonymous said...

Please support the passage of this bill

Anonymous said...

The Street Racing that goes on in my neighborhood (Charter Oak) happens every week and keeps me up at night. With countdowns shouted followed my screeching tires waking me up in the middle of the night. I have called the police on this at midnight, 2 am and even later. Please put up the speed bumps!! We need peace of mind.

Daryl K Roberts said...

HPD Upcoming Plans with respect to illegal street racing:

The most problematic locations for us have been Wawarme Avenue and Murphy Road. Last Friday (April 3rd) speed bumps were installed on Wawarme Avenue at the direction of Acting Director of Public Works Kevin Burnham (They are in place…I saw them) Hartford DPW will be doing a roadway modification project on Murphy Road in the very near future that will hopefully deter street racing.

The HPD is currently awaiting the awarding of grant monies from the State of Connecticut Dept of Transportation's Traffic Division to specifically address the illegal street racing situation. In the meantime, the Southeast Conditions Team, and the HPD Patrol and Traffic Divisions will be conducting special details on a weekly basis in an attempt to curtail some of the racing activity throughout the South Meadows and surrounding areas.

Hartford Police Chief Daryl K. Roberts

Anonymous said...

You have to give an alternative as well.Like
take some of that money and put it towards a 1/4 mile track in CT. It would dramatically reduce the illegal activities and it could be taxed as well. Everyone knows if you stop racing at location "A", then they will just go somewhere else. Its a fact.
Are you going to put speed bumps on route 91 as well?. What about route 9? might as well, I've seen people race there too.

Anonymous said...

Look, street racing ain't neva gonna stop, but the best soulution is to put up some kind of track. where?? well the place that I have been looking at for quite some time is the abadoned air strip in east hartford by renchler field. I been wanting to bring this up but I don't know what to do about it and who to talk to. A track is not even nessasary, just let them go to the strip. Better in there than out on the street. If you make a track, there will be a couple problems. Money, and time. Most of those racers do not have a decent income or just don't have enough money to spend on getting all the nessacary things for track racing. I thought of racing legit untill I saw that you needed to pay 500 dollars just to race all the way in the track limerock. If you were to just leave the strip open, to all of these street racers with an occational "check up" by the police every now and then, I can promise you that it would work. I can name atleast 200 racers that would love the idea and would get off the street. Feel free to contact me about this. pleae give contact info with a reply, tell me what you think.

Daryl K Roberts said...

Dear Anonymous Street Racer,
If you like please give my Media and Communications Coordinator Nancy Mulroy a call to discuss your comments and possible recommendations as to whom you may speak with about your proposal. You may reach Ms. Nancy Mulroy at 860-757-4021.

Chief Daryl K. Roberts
Hartford Police Department

Anonymous said...

u need a track, i agree with the air strip being a race track. hes right about the whole thing, it being free and u guys can come check up anytime for fights and other stupid things. if u make that airstrip as a track the racers will definitely be there on the weekends and theres going to be less problems with noise trespassing, and other problems u and ur men may have. i do wana race, i dont wana pay,i dont wana have to worry about cops and people being stupid with their guns. make it safe for everyone, ur men, the racers, the people that live near by, and build this race track. in the long run, its goin to save u soo much money.

Anonymous said...

This is also a big problem in fairfield county also but it seems like nobody wants to deal with it! Im glad somebody is trying to do something! I do agree that CT needs a track somewhere.