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Safe Streets

Tempe PD continues its work to combat street racing

Posted 6/13/24

Along with several other Valley law enforcement agencies, Tempe Police Department will continue its crackdown on illegal street racing with Operation Street Sweep.

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Safe Streets

Tempe PD continues its work to combat street racing

Posted

Along with several other Valley law enforcement agencies, Tempe Police Department will continue its crackdown on illegal street racing with Operation Street Sweep.

On any given night, dozens to hundreds of street racers take to Valley streets at high speeds, sometimes taking over intersections, a city release explained. 

Tempe Police has prioritized making streets safer with focused efforts to end street racing, and starting Friday, June 14, Operation Street Sweep will bring enhanced enforcement on this issue to Tempe.

“Street racing isn’t acceptable in our community. It’s not only deadly for those racing, but for the other people on our roads, whether they driving, biking or walking,” Deputy City Manager Greg Ruiz, who oversees community health and public safety, stated in the release.

In 2023, there were approximately 50 vehicle collisions in Tempe, resulting in 24 fatalities. It is believed that excessive speed was a factor in 18 of those collisions.

The number of high-speed drivers is one of Tempe residents’ top concerns, according to a recent ZenCity Blockwise report, ranking just below homelessness issues and drugs, the release added.

Operation Silent Night, which took place from March 1 to May 25, resulted in 277 arrests and 303 street racing charges. By comparison, in 2023, a total of 259 citations were issued for racing. 

During these operations speeds of more than 85 mph, reckless driving and speeds of more than 20 miles an hour over the speed limit were occurring, according to the release. 

“As the Tempe Police Chief, I am committed to addressing the issue of street racing and its associated crimes. We will take proactive measures, collaborate with local agencies, and employ innovative strategies to effectively combat this dangerous activity,” Tempe Police Chief Kenneth McCoy stated in the release.

Taking action

Beyond continual enforcement efforts, Tempe is taking action in several ways to make roads safer for everyone, the release stated.

Tempe’s Real Time Operation Center is opening next month, which will pool the hundreds of traffic, park and facilities cameras in Tempe so that police staff can easily review footage to determine what happened in traffic incidents, keep officers and drivers safer during incidents, resolve crimes and tend to infrastructure needs.

This fall, speed and red light cameras will be installed at several Tempe intersections to induce people to slow down. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, they can reduce crashes by more than 50%. See the camera map at tempe.gov/VisionZero.

Tempe is one of 45 cities across the nation to participate in Vision Zero, an effort to reduce or eliminate the number of serious and injuries caused by collisions. Tempe has targeted 14 intersections around the city for intensive traffic enforcement, according to the release.