CA Car Crushers: Put Court Orders to Good Use!
The California State Assembly, California State Senate and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
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In recent weeks the automotive world was shocked by news of California's recent crackdown on street racers - more specifically, the police action of impounding and destroying illegally modified cars. According to the California Vehicle Code, Section 10751, any car "from which any [VIN number or tag, on the vehicle or a component thereof] has been removed, defaced, altered, or destroyed, unless [...] assigned or approved by the department in lieu of the manufacturer's number [...] shall be destroyed, sold, or otherwise disposed of under the conditions as provided in an order by the court having jurisdiction." The methodical and direct destruction of "street racing cars" with stolen or unregistered parts is a dramatic and blunt use of state law, quite different from its general use against car theft and the practices of illegal chop shops. Police believe this new tactic will be an effective deterrant against illegal street racing, vowing, "...as long as they keep racing illegally, we keep crushing their cars."
News articles this month (June) say that illegal street racing is "suspected" to have caused 13 deaths in Southern California since March of 2007.
The California Vehicle Code is now being used for the specific purpose of punishing the state's illegal street racers, who, at the rate "suspected" by the media, are presently responsible for about 3.25 deaths per month.
In 2005, drunk drivers were responsible for 40\% of all traffic deaths in California, or about 143.25 deaths per month. Alcohol was involved in 1,719 traffic deaths in California that year, and a total of 17,525 deaths in the United States. (Source - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2006 and 2007.)
California is responsible for close to 10\% of the nation's ever-increasing alcohol-related traffic fatalities, and yet the state seems motivated to correct less serious and less deadly problems such as illegal street racing. A first-time DUI sentence may involve a fine, a license restriction, DUI school, and probation - our police force will go so far as to destroy a vehicle suspected of being used for illegal street racing. Drunk drivers, killing nearly 5 people in our state every day, are faced with nowhere near as stiff a punishment as "illegal street racers". 3.25 deaths per month: a destroyed car. 143.25 deaths per month: a slap on the wrist.
At this point the problem, as well as the solution, should be clear.
We, your safe drivers, concerned citizens, and human beings who value our own lives and the lives of our fellow men and women, demand you cast the same tangible judgment on the drivers out there with no regard for human life. We demand you send to drunk drivers the same strong message you are trying to give illegal street racers. Send that same message to those who feel that the rest of us are just a speedbump in the way of their good time. The message is clear: you want to get serious. You want to save lives.
Here is your golden opportunity.