A car whizzing through the air in a high-speed action movie doesn’t obey the same laws of physics in the real world, and law enforcement officials hope to drive that point home in the near future. a new anti-street racing campaign announced this week.
California Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies start the campaign with baby blue Lamborghini cars crashed into a light pole on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.
The attempt to stop street racing comes as soon as “Fast X” is released nationally on Friday, which promises to be the final installment in the “Fast and Furious” racing action series played by Vin Diesel. main.
LAPD director Michel Moore said during a press conference Thursday that street racing in the film could influence real-world imitators who think they can drive on the street as well. a stunt racer.
“The popularity of films like the ‘Fast and Furious’ series and their latest upcoming release, we believe has the potential to affect copycats as the film glorifies highly dangerous activity. this danger,” said Moore. “Films like this are fantasy.”
Lili Trujillo Puckett, founder of Street Racing Kills, an advocacy group that shares testimonies from survivors and relatives of street victims, said law enforcement and others took advantage of the discovery. film to remind the public of the dangers of street racing. racing victim.
“Some people know it’s cinematic magic, but there are some people who seek the thrill of speed after they see a movie,” Puckett said in an interview on Friday.
Puckett founded Street Racing Kills after her 16-year-old daughter, Valentina, was killed in a car crash in 2013 after her hitchhiker tried to race the car and damaged it. When she formed the group the following year, Puckett felt alone and didn’t see many resources from law enforcement or lawmakers put into the fight against street takeovers and racing.
On Thursday, she joined law enforcement heads on Melrose Avenue to add her voice to the efforts.
“It really feels great to see the California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department and the LAPD come together,” Puckett said. “We’ve seen the growing proliferation of task forces to combat street racing, not just here in Los Angeles, but we’re talking everywhere in the US going to pursue it. racing.”
The Fast and Furious franchise got its humble beginnings in the Angelino Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. The first film, released in 2001, highlighted the neighborhood, which over the years has become a mecca for street racers and movie aficionados who race the streets and perform donuts with their cars.
During the filming of “Fast X” in August, protesters marched around the neighborhood demanding that the city do more to combat imitation.
Rene Favela, a resident of the neighborhood, was furious about the black tire marks on the road outside his house at the time. But the city recently redesigned the streets, adding traffic poles and other barriers that narrow the major intersection in front of Bob’s Market, an iconic location in the “Fast and Furious” movies. .
“It’s not as bad as it used to be,” Favela said on Friday. “The work they did made it a little harder to try making donuts in front of the store.”
He’s also noticed an increase in police patrolling the neighborhood and penalizing speeders.
“What you won’t change in that particular neighborhood is the fans and the tourists, because the movies are really popular with street racing,” says Favela.
According to law enforcement agencies, illegal street racing and appropriations spiked in the first few months since the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020 and have spread across the country.
CHP responded to more than 7,300 reported incidents statewide in 2021, with nearly 123,000 participants. According to CHP, the number of reported incidents has decreased significantly by 2022, but the issue still poses a risk to the community.
“Our highways, railways and bridges have been illegally closed, preventing people from going to the emergency room in some cases, and in other cases just being late for work, ” California Highway Patrol Deputy Commissioner Troy Lukkes said during the press conference. “These illegal and dangerous activities put people’s lives at risk, damage public and private property, and in some cases lead to the death of innocent people.”