Photo/Story Gallery 2003
Troopers Put the Brakes on The Fast & The Furious
Miami Troopers recently set up one of the largest street racing stings in Florida’s history. Over 70 Troopers and 30 Miami-Dade Police Officers swarmed in on a large crowd of illegal street racers on U.S. 27 in Miami-Dade County. Troopers arrested 197 people-27 of those were charged with racing on the highway. Forty-one juveniles and 129 adults were charged with unlawful assembly. Troopers also had 54 vehicles towed away.
Back in 2001, FHP conducted a similar sting. The only difference was that the existing law at that time only allowed for Troopers to issue traffic citations, thus not making much of an impact on illegal street racing. This time, however, the full force of the law was at the Troopers’ disposal.
Realizing the shortcomings of the previous law, State Representative Ralph Arza introduced a new bill that was signed into law last year, which makes street racing a second-degree misdemeanor. It provides for the suspension of the violator’s driver’s license for one year and a fine of up to $500.
The new law also allows the courts to immobilize the violator’s vehicle as a condition of incarceration or probation. A second offense of a street racing violation will result in the suspension of the violator’s license for two years and a fine of up to $1000.
Hopefully, stings such as this one will send a clear message to illegal street racers that if they are caught street racing, they will be arrested-their vehicle will be towed-and they will lose their driver’s license for one year! Too many people have been injured and too many lives have been lost as a result of street racing. Thanks to FHP and fellow law enforcement, this fast & furious game is over!