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La Mirada Warns of the Dangers of Illegal Street Racing and Drifting


In recent months, illegal street racing and drifting have become more prevalent in many areas including La Mirada.  In some cases, numerous street racers and hundreds of spectators congregate in a single location disrupting the normal flow of traffic.

These incidents, driven by popular culture and the use of social media to draw contestants and evade law enforcement, are on the rise. In what racers call “takeovers,” participants use their cars to block streets or intersections to stage races or vehicle exhibitions.

“Street racing on public streets or highways is unsafe, illegal and can result in reckless driving, collisions, hit and run incidents and injured bystanders,” says Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Captain James Tatreau. “It is dangerous and a serious disturbance when illegal racing occurs in neighborhoods and on streets not designed for such activity.”

Drifting is another popular practice and it is just as dangerous.  Drifting is when a motorist makes a turn or a series of turns, at high rates of speed often with tires spinning and smoking.

“There are serious consequences of engaging in street racing or drifting,” says Captain Tatreau.

Violators may be arrested and have their vehicle impounded for 30 days; be imprisoned for up to three months if convicted; and be fined for up to $1,000. Additionally, the violator’s driver’s license may be revoked; vehicle insurance may be canceled or premiums may dramatically increase; and equipment violations may be issued.

Spectators are also subject to the same penalties especially when their actions threaten the well-being and safety of the public.  Anyone who engages, aids, or participates at a speed contest or drifting event violates the law and could be cited.

For additional information or to report a tip regarding illegal street racing or drifting, contact the La Mirada Community Sheriff’s Station at (562) 902-2960.

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