For Immediate Release
|Date||May 22, 2005|
|Contact||Lieutenant Ken Carpenter|
Riverside, Ca- On January 26, 2005, the
Riverside City Council amended its nuisance vehicle forfeiture ordinance to
address the issue of illegal street racing. Illegal street racing places not
only its participants in danger, but endangers the lives of spectators and
innocent members of the community. The Councilís action is a proactive response
to a problem experienced in the City of Riverside and other communities with
illegal street racing. It is intended to send a message that illegal street
racing will not be tolerated in the City of Riverside.
Vehicle Code Section 23109 makes it a crime punishable by fine and imprisonment to engage in illegal street racing. A new city ordinance makes it a crime to be a spectator at an illegal street race. Spectators at an illegal street race can be cited or arrested.
The amendment to the existing city ordinance governing nuisance vehicles, allows the police department to seize and pursue civil forfeiture of any vehicle used in an illegal street race, as a nuisance. The civil forfeiture proceeding is independent of any criminal proceeding and does not require a criminal conviction.
On April 11, 2005, at approximately 12:20 A.M., officers from the Riverside Police Department were in the area of Indiana Avenue and Tyler Street monitoring traffic. The location is known for vehicles racing on Indiana Avenue, as well as incidents of exhibition of speed. Officers stopped and cited two drivers for engaging in illegal street racing. Their vehicles were impounded and subsequently seized for civil forfeiture. Following post-seizure hearings for both parties civil forfeiture proceedings have begun.
Since April 25, 2005, twenty-five citations have been issued to spectators attending illegal street racing or exhibition of speed. The spectators that were issued citations were all from surrounding counties and out of state. The first offense is an infraction punishable by a $100 fine and the second offense is an infraction punishable by a $200 fine. The third and subsequent offense is a misdemeanor charge punishable by a fine up to $1000.