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32 People Arrested in Tampa Operation Focused on Street Racing on I-4 Bridges

32 People Arrested in Tampa Operation Focused on Street Racing on I-4 Bridges

32 People Arrested in Tampa Operation Focused on Street Racing on I-4 Bridges



By Ciara Perez, News Reporter | iSkyCreations - News & Media (ISC)

Publish Date: July 2nd, 2024


TAMPA, Fla. — In a major crackdown on street racing, the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), in collaboration with multiple local law enforcement agencies, conducted Operation Keep Our Streets yesterday, resulting in 32 arrests. This coordinated effort aimed to address dangerous driving behaviors and racing on Bay Area bridges to ensure community safety.


Participating agencies included 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). The operation targeted the Gandy Bridge and Courtney Campbell Causeway, notorious for past street racing incidents.


32 People Arrested in Tampa Operation Focused on Street Racing on I-4 Bridges

This operation coincided with the enforcement of Senate Bill 1764, which increases the maximum fines for street racing and roadway takeovers and revises penalties for repeat offenders. The bill also imposes stricter penalties for anyone interfering with emergency vehicles responding to such incidents.


According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), “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.”


Although the Howard Frankland Bridge was excluded from the operation due to construction, recent incidents of reckless driving and speeding there, including a rollover crash with injuries, highlight the ongoing need for law enforcement vigilance.


“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.”

Tampa Police Department Chief Lee Bercaw added, "The type of behavior involved in this kind of activity is completely unacceptable. These street takeovers not only put participants at risk but also create 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 of the St. Petersburg Police Department.

The operation resulted in 457 traffic stops, addressing various unsafe driving behaviors such as speeding, DUI, driving with a suspended license, and street racing. Law enforcement issued 162 traffic citations, 295 traffic warnings, made five DUI arrests, 18 criminal citations, and two street racing arrests, demonstrating the significant impact of these efforts.


Street racing is a dangerous activity that endangers all road users. Participants often disrupt traffic by blocking intersections or roadways and employing reckless driving tactics.


If you encounter illegal street racing, call FHP (*347) or 911 to be routed to the nearest dispatch center. Do not engage with participants; remain calm and, if possible, pull over to the side of the road.


For more information on street racing and how to report it, visit FHP's Stop Racing page. If you have information regarding an upcoming event or can identify participants, please email StopRacing@flhsmv.gov with any relevant screenshots or documentation.


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32 People Arrested in Tampa Operation Focused on Street Racing on I-4 Bridges

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