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CHP Campaign Goal: Stop Reckless Driving
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A 3D billboard featuring a wrecked vehicle is one way the CHP hopes to drive home the point of how sideshows and reckless driving can be deadly. Photo Courtesy Of California Highway Patrol

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is accelerating its efforts to halt illegal street racing and sideshows plaguing the state’s roadways and destroying the lives of innocent victims. To increase awareness about the devastation and destruction caused by this illegal and dangerous driving behavior, the CHP unveiled a new multi-media campaign while standing amid a three-dimensional installation featuring an actual crashed vehicle along Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles.

The billboard, a striking visual reminder, is just one of the more than 50 displays being erected throughout the state reminding drivers about illegal street racing and sideshows, “Thrills That Kill.” The public can expect to see the billboard campaign through the summer months in areas of California that have seen a high number of illegal street racing and side show activity. Among the locations: Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and the Central San Joaquin Valley.

A shooting that occurred in Stockton early Monday morning, May 22, came shortly after a sideshow, at Eighth and B streets, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department. One person was killed, authorities said, and two others were wounded but are expected to survive. The case remains under investigation and the shooting occurred about 12:30 a.m.; no suspect information was released.

Illegal sideshows have been occurring at an alarming rate in California, and they continue to get bigger and more dangerous, CHP officials added. In 2021, the CHP responded to more than 7,300 incidents statewide with nearly 123,000 participants. While the number of incidents decreased by approximately 50 percent last year, there is still a significant amount of work to be done to keep California’s communities, and those who use our roads, safe.

“Illegal street racing and sideshows put lives at risk, upset the quality of our neighborhoods, cause damage to private and public property, and in some cases, have resulted in the death of innocent people,” CHP Deputy Commissioner Troy Lukkes said. “Through our ongoing efforts we want to send the message throughout California that this dangerous and illegal activity will not be tolerated.”

Over a five-year period, illegal street racing and sideshow activities have resulted in 264 crashes. Of those incidents attributed to this reckless behavior, 30 crashes were fatal, and 124 others resulted in injuries.

To combat this trend, the CHP has been working with its public safety partners and community-based organizations throughout the state. Together, they are engaging in a strong education and enforcement campaign with the goal of keeping all who use California’s roadways safe by encouraging others to make good choices behind the wheel.

Funding to support the CHP’s efforts were made possible by the Governor’s approval of a one-time state budget allocation of $5.5 million at the request of California Assemblymember Vince Fong and a former Assemblymember, Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper. The funds are being used to support state and local task forces to end dangerous sideshow activities that have become a major problem in communities throughout the state.