Police operation underway to stop illegal street racing in Calgary
Calgary police say well over 200 tickets have already been issued in an operation aimed at curbing illegal street racing on city roads.
Since the operation began on May 1, police say they have written 281 tickets and issued 71 warnings, towed five vehicles, executed one search warrant and laid two criminal charges.
Police said Operation Roadhammer began following multiple reports of vehicles driving at extremely high speeds in areas where the speed limit is 50 km/h.
Police held a news conference on Wednesday at Tim Hortons on Barlow Trail and 61 Avenue S.E.
According to officers, on any given evening — but mainly weekends — upwards of 1,000 vehicles have reportedly used the parking lot as a meeting point for street racing.
“One month ago, we had an incident here where a mother and a child were leaving the Tim Hortons, a person was doing a burnout and lost control and almost hit them, so we had to react,” Sgt. Brad Norman said.
The racing generally happens in industrial areas in the city’s southeast, and the drivers are typically young and inexperienced, according to police.
“We’ve got some of these young people that have had their licence for a month, and they’re out here racing around, stunting, and drifting,” Norman said.
“There’s a warehouse that’s not too far — just on the east side of 52 Street — the racing community would call that ‘Little Mexico,’ and that was their keyword and that’s where they’d go and conduct their racing.”
According to police, street racing has been an issue in the city for some time, but it has since grown by word of mouth.
“I don’t want to see someone die out here,” Norman said. “If these guys keep doing this, it’s not if it will happen, it’s when it will happen, and I don’t want to see myself or any of my colleagues have to go and do that door knock and tell someone that their loved one is not coming home.”
Police said businesses in the area have been co-operative with the investigation, providing CCTV footage of the racing, and even going as far as putting up barriers and fencing to prevent people from racing in large lots in the industrial area.
Police are encouraging Calgarians who see street racing activities to report them.
“We also ask friends and family of drivers that might be participating in this activity to encourage them to stop,” Norman added.
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