Street racing task force making a difference in the Valley

Street racing in Arizona
Posted at 4:03 PM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 18:03:33-05

Illegal street racing and intersection take-overs are still a cause for concern in the valley, and have been for years.

Though the Street Racing Task Force is now releasing promising numbers that shows a decrease in this kind of traffic.

Folks living in Cave Creek tell ABC15 they are losing sleep, at least four nights a week, due to illegal street racing.

“Literally I’ve had to jump in the gravel because they’ve nearly hit me,” said a woman, who wanted to remain anonymous.

She says it was a close call that day, adding that illegal street races typically start on Thursdays and goes through the weekend on Rancho Paloma Drive and Cave Creek Road.

“That’s when they, as I say, put the pedal to the metal,” she added.

She says she has also seen burnouts and donuts being done in the area.

Phoenix police are still working hard to put a stop to this, launching the Street Racing Task Force in February of 2021, and partnering with several valley agencies.

These law enforcement agencies include:

· Peoria Police Department
· Scottsdale Police Department
· Glendale Police Department
· Tempe Police Department
· Department of Public Safety
· Avondale Police Department
· Goodyear Police Department
· Maricopa County Sheriff's Office

“It’s a program that’s very effective,” Sgt. Philip Krynsky with the Phoenix Police Department.

Documents show, from February 2021 to January 2022, they’ve filed the following:

· Original, Supplemental and Further Investigation Reports: 867
· Arrests: 442
· Booking: 175
· Citations in Lieu of Detention: 188
· Traffic Citations: 556
· Notice of Violations: 2
· Accidents: 84
· Juvenile Contacts: 31
· Juvenile Booking: 3
· Juvenile Citations in Lieu of Detention: 24

From March 17, 2021 to Sept. 29, 2021 there were 220 vehicles towed. Since September 2021, SRTF has resulted in:

· Impounded vehicles: 64
· Tows in accordance with racing: 39
· Tows in accordance with reckless driving: 2
· Tows in accordance with obstructing: 23

“We’ve seen calls for service for street racing has gone down,” said Sgt. Krynsky.

Though citations and charges for illegal street racing have also gone down since the task force hit the streets.

“Also those takeovers of intersections have also gone down,” he added.

Here is the breakdown:

Calls for service:
2020: > 6,200
2021: 4,500

2020: > 2,000
2021: 662

2020: > 5,200
2021: Just over 1,200

Phoenix Police says 90% of the Street Racing Task Force’s efforts are now going to putting a stop to side-by-side racing.

“We’re noticing that these street racers, and some of them are very organized, they’re moving to different parts of the Valley,” added Sgt. Krynsky.

“That’s probably true, especially in a residential area,” a Cave Creek resident told ABC15.

This Cave Creek man, who also wanted to remain anonymous, says that he thinks things are getting worse in Cave Creek.

“It’s dangerous, especially if you are riding your bike or walking down here,” he said.

The Cave Creek resident also adds, recently, he was riding his bike when someone raced past a stop sign.

“If I would have turned or something, you know… Somebody’s walking across the street, they might get killed,” he said.

This is just one of the reasons Phoenix Police is reminding folks illegal street racing is a punishable crime.

“Keep in mind if you’re street racing and [it]causes an accident and someone dies as a result of it, you’re looking at a murder charge,” said Sgt. Krynsky

Here’s their message to illegal street racers:

“Definitely think twice before you engage in this type of activity,” Sgt. Krynsky told ABC15.