Police launch effort to crack down on road racing in North Spokane

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SPOKANE, Wash. — Local law enforcement agencies have launched an effort to crack down on road racing in North Spokane. 

In the past few weeks, the Spokane Police Department, along with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol, have been dispatched to the vacant Shopko parking lot on Division, the old Albertsons at Wandermere and the Maverick on North Division for reports of young people gathering to race. 

SPD said the gatherings have included upwards of 75 cars, with drivers racing up and down major roads like Division and Newport Highway. Officers said these drivers have been weaving in and out of traffic, putting themselves and others in danger. 

In one instance, a 16-year-old who had his license for one week, drove between 50 and 60 mph through a parking lot with his 15-year-old girlfriend in the car. He was arrested for reckless driving and cited for violating intermediate license conditions. 

SPD said 60 citations for speeding have been issued in recent weeks, with all drivers going more than 17 mph over the posted speed limit. Authorities have arrested 15 people for reckless driving, five for driving under the influence and have issued 22 warnings. 

Young drivers, between the ages of 16 and 25, make up 13.5 percent of Washington’s population, but were involved in 31 percent of all fatalities and 34 percent of all serious injuries between 2015 and 2017. 

During the same time frame, young drivers were involved in crashes that led to 2,243 serious injuries and 512 fatalities, and more than 100 young people die on Washington roads each year. 

SPD said their emphasis patrols will be held again this upcoming weekend and will continue as long as needed. They ask parents to be aware of their childrens’ plans and ask young people to be safe.