SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake City operation to halt unlawful street racing resulted in six arrests and the towing of 11 vehicles. Law officers flooded areas of the city known for street racing on Friday, August 26, into the early hours of Saturday, August 27, according to representatives of the Salt Lake City Police Department. Six people were arrested after the Utah Highway Patrol discovered information that led them to a speed racing competition around 2400 South and 4300 West.
The charges against the suspects included driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, careless driving, possession of a controlled substance, hit-and-run, open container, and operating a vehicle without insurance. The Salt Lake City Police Department issued a press release on Tuesday afternoon that stated, “Illegal street racing events in Salt Lake City have previously attracted hundreds of people and have resulted in numerous criminal activities, including, but not limited to, reckless driving, illegal weapon possession, illegal gambling, and aggravated assaults.”
Police claimed that both the racing and the sizable crowds that attend to watch, wager, and support them had a “notable impact” on neighborhood businesses. According to the announcement, “roadway and private lot blockages have adversely affected business operations, impeded distribution of goods and essential materials, and inadvertently forced several enterprises to close.”
According to Salt Lake City police, there was a sharp rise in illegal street racing-related calls for assistance in 2020, up from 71 in 2019 to 409 in 2020, a 476% increase. “As staffing and resources permit, the Salt Lake City Police Department will maintain coordinated and committed efforts between private and public stakeholders to reduce street racing events and safeguard our communities from the greater harm associated with street racing.”
In order to reduce the frequency of speed racing events, police are reportedly still using steel construction plates on select roads. The Salt Lake City Police Department faces a variety of difficulties as a result of street racing. The SLCPD does not always have the resources necessary to stop these events since they are also working to stop other crimes and/or address problems with the city’s visitors’ and residents’ quality of life, according to the release. According to the police, the operation was supported by UHP, the SLCPD Pioneer Bike Squad, the SLCPD Gang Unit, the SLCPD Investigations Division, and the SLCPD Patrol Divisions.
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