SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, Aug. 30, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake City Police Department and the Utah Highway Patrol conducted an operation this weekend aimed at stopping illegal street racing. They reportedly made six arrests and towed 11 cars.
The operation began Friday night and continued into Saturday morning, a statement from the Salt Lake City Police Department says. The statement was issued Tuesday.
“Law enforcement saturated areas within the city known to have street racing,” says the statement, from the SLCPD public relations unit. “Information developed during the investigation resulted in UHP locating a speed racing event near 2400 S. 4300 West.”
Participants have flocked to the city’s industrial area of the Pioneer Division, known for its long and wide open streets, the statement says.
“Illegal street racing events in Salt Lake City have previously drawn hundreds of people and have resulted in numerous criminal activities to include, but not limited to, reckless driving, illegal weapon possession, illegal gambling and aggravated assaults.”
In the weekend operation, arrests were for charges including speed contest or exhibition on a highway, failure to stop or respond at command of police, driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, reckless driving, possession of controlled substance, hit and run, open container, and operating a vehicle without insurance, the statement says.
“The Salt Lake City Police Department recognizes UHP, the SLCPD Pioneer Bike Squad, the SLCPD Gang Unit, the SLCPD Investigations Division and the SLCPD Patrol Divisions for assisting with this operation.”
Salt Lake City’s vast growth during the past decade has centered in/around its industrial areas, the SLCPD statement says.
“The growth brings many 24-hour, seven-day-a-week operations and their workforce into the area.
“Local businesses have been notably impacted by both the racing and the large crowds that gather to watch, gamble, and cheer them on. Roadway and private lot obstructions have impacted business operations, inhibited distribution of goods and critical materials, and effectively caused some businesses to close.”
In 2020, the Salt Lake City Police Department saw a dramatic increase in calls for service for illegal street racing, the SLCPD statement says, adding that calls for service rose from 71 in 2019 to 409 in 2020, representing a 476% increase in one year.
“The Salt Lake City Police Department will continue coordinated and dedicated efforts between private and public stakeholders to mitigate street racing events and protect our communities from the greater harm that comes with street racing as staffing and resources allow.”
The Salt Lake City Police Department continues to use steel construction plates on some roadways to help reduce the frequency of speed racing events, the statement says.