SOUTHERN COLORADO — On Friday, April 23, the Colorado State Patrol (CSP) announced a new team composed of 34 different law enforcement agencies throughout the state, dedicated to combating illegal street racing.
The team was assembled because there has been an increase in illegal street racing in Colorado. Colorado Springs is no exception. "During the pandemic it got worse, and so we were more concerned than ever... It's very dangerous. In fact, there's been injuries and deaths in Colorado Springs, related to street racing," said Colorado Springs City Councilmember, Richard Skorman.
Around a month ago, Colorado Springs City Council passed a Public Nuisance Ordinance (PNO) for the purpose of illegal street racing. Now, following a first strike for street racing, the car being used can be seized. "We wanted to have an option to be able to get their license plates, to be able to record their high speeds, and then to go after them independently. We didn't want to endanger the police officers by having them have these high speed chases... We have zero tolerance for this. It's not fun, it's dangerous," said Skorman.
However, there is another way to get the same rush, without putting other people's lives at risk. The Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR) has several programs where people can race, in an environment where it is safe to make mistakes. "Common theme is that they like the adrenaline rush. They like to feel free. So, for our Off The Street Drags night we try to keep it very loose and casual, to try and give them the space. There's a space to do a burnout, go do a burnout. There's a space to go drag. There's a space to drive fast," said Jeanette Negri, the director of motorsports at PPIR.
Participating in street racing could lead to charges of reckless driving, reckless endangerment, engaging in a speed contest, aiding a speed contest, or obstructing a highway incident to a speed contest. Penalties could include possible jail time, fines, and loss of driving privileges. According to CSP, there have been reports of shots fired during recent illegal races.
If other drivers come into contact with cars racing around them, the best decision is to try and separate from the speeding vehicles. Call 911 if there is an immediate safety risk, and report the incident to CSP by dialing *277 on a phone, or log it later at reportstreetracing.com.
If racers are meeting illegally on private property, owners can file a trespass order through local law enforcement.
Here is the full list of all of the participating agencies:
- City of Denver Attorney’s Office
- Denver District Attorney’s Office
- 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office
- 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office
- 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office
- Adams County Sheriff’s Office
- Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office
- Arvada Police Department
- Aurora Police Department
- Brighton Police Department
- Broomfield Police Department
- Castle Rock Police Department
- Colorado Information Analysis Center
- Colorado Springs Police Department
- Colorado State Patrol
- Commerce City Police Department
- Denver Police Department
- Douglas County Sheriff’s Office
- Edgewater Police Department
- Federal Heights Police Department
- Fountain Police Department
- Glendale Police Department
- Golden Police Department
- Greenwood Village Police Department
- Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office
- Lakewood Police Department
- Larimer County Sheriff’s Office
- Littleton Police Department
- Lone Tree Police Department
- Morrison Police Department
- Northglenn Police Department
- Thornton Police Department
- Westminster Police Department
- Wheat Ridge Police Department