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32 Arrested: FHP Puts the Brakes on Street Racing During Multi-Agency Operation Focused on Tampa Area Bridges


Yesterday, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), in collaboration with the Tampa Police Department (TPD), Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO), Clearwater Police Department (CPD), Pinellas Park Police Department, St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD) and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO), launched Operation Keep Our Streets. This united effort was aimed at addressing dangerous driving behaviors and racing on Bay Area bridges, ensuring the safety of our community.

The operation coincides with the kickoff of Senate Bill 1764,  which increases the maximum fine for those participating in street racing or roadway takeovers. The Bill also revises penalties for second-time offenders and increases criminal penalties and fines for anyone who knowingly interferes with emergency vehicles responding to calls for service due to street racing or street takeover activities.

The primary focus of Operation Keep Our Streets was the Gandy Bridge and Courtney Campbell Causeway, two locations that have made headlines with local outlets in recent years due to incidents where those racing their vehicles have been arrested for street racing at speeds well over 100 miles per hour.

Due to construction, the Howard Frankland Bridge, another area known for street racing, was not included in yesterday’s operation. However, an incident of reckless driving and speeding, highlighting why law enforcement is actively working to enforce this illegal activity, resulted in a rollover crash with injuries just last month. These incidents, while alarming, are preventable, and with continued efforts, FHP and our law enforcement partners are actively working to make our streets safer.

“FHP is committed to ensuring Florida roadways are safe for everyone to travel,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Dave Kerner. “This operation and its success reflect our commitment and provide ample warning to those who jeopardize public safety; FHP aggressively enforces traffic and criminal laws to protect our citizens and visitors.”

"This operation to educate the community about the importance of obeying traffic laws and avoiding reckless driving is a testament to our commitment to protecting the safety and well-being of our community," said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister. "We are grateful for the support and dedication of all the agencies involved; together, we are making our roads safer for our residents."

"The type of behavior involved in this kind of activity is completely unacceptable," said Tampa Police Department Chief Lee Bercaw. "These street takeovers not only put participants at risk but also creates a dangerous situation for innocent motorists. The Tampa Police Department wants to send a clear message that those who choose to engage in such reckless activity will be arrested, and this updated law now holds these individuals even more accountable for their actions.”

“Our ongoing partnerships with other law enforcement agencies allow us to address reckless driving and make our roadways safer.   The goal is to prevent serious injury and fatal crashes.,” said Assistant Chief Michael Kovacsev,  St. Petersburg Police Department.

“In partnership with our neighboring agencies, we will continue to work hard to reduce fatal crashes and provide safe roadways to the motoring public”, said Chief Geissenberger with the Pinellas Park Police Department

As a result of the collaborative efforts of all agencies involved, 457 traffic stops were conducted to address unsafe driving behaviors. These included speeding, violation of a traffic control device, driving under the influence, driving while license suspended, violation of the move-over law, fleeing to elude, possession of narcotics, and street racing. The operation yielded 162 traffic citations, 295 traffic warnings, five driving under the influence arrests, 18 criminal citations, and two arrests for street racing, demonstrating the significant impact of these law enforcement activities.

Street racing is a dangerous activity that affects everyone on the road. Participants often disrupt traffic flow by blocking intersections or roadways, and their reckless driving tactics, including speeding, failure to maintain a single lane, improper passing, and failure to obey a traffic control device, put other drivers at risk.

If you encounter illegal street racing/ takeover or stunt driving, call FHP (*347) or 911, and you will be immediately routed to the nearest dispatch center. Do not attempt to engage with participants; remain calm and, if possible, pull over to the side of the road. For more information on street racing, roadway takeovers, and stunt driving, visit https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/driving-safety/stop-racing/. If you have information regarding an upcoming event or can identify participants, please email StopRacing@flhsmv.gov and send any corresponding screenshots or documentation.

Is street racing illegal in Florida? What happens if you're pulled over for street racing in Florida? What is the penalty for street racing in Florida? FLHSMV Office of Communications, Automotive Tips, Travel Tips, What is Operation Keep Our Streets?


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