Kent Police arrest 12 during street racing crackdown

Auburn, Renton, Tukwila police departments and WSP assist

Kent Police made 12 arrests, issued 31 traffic citations and impounded six vehicles during a July 26-28 crackdown on street racing.

Officers from the Auburn, Renton and Tukwila police departments as well as troopers from the Washington State Patrol assisted Kent in the operation, according to a written report to the Kent City Council by Chief Administrative Officer Derek Matheson.

“Racers had allegedly been invited to Kent from all over Washington, Oregon and Idaho,” Matheson wrote.

For more than three decades, the north Kent industrial streets have attracted racers during weekend nights, especially during the nice weather in the spring and summer. Two drivers line up side-by-side on the empty streets to race each other.

The results of the patrol emphasis included:

Friday, July 26:

• 1 DWLS arrest

• 9 traffic citations

• 36 field interviews

• 2 criminal traffic arrests

• 1 DUI arrest

• 1 vehicle impounded

Saturday, July 27:

• 2 DWLS arrests

• 22 traffic citations

• 39 field interviews

• 5 criminal traffic arrests

• 1 DUI arrest

• 5 vehicles impounded

Pilot program next up to deter racing

Kent Police will be part of a pilot program approved this year by the Legislature to deter illegal street racing with a new technology that combines sound measurement and video to catch vehicles with excessively loud exhaust noise.

The Washington State Traffic Safety Commission will oversee the pilot program. The program will utilize technology to automatically issue tickets for vehicles with illegal (loud) exhaust systems in the street racing areas. The device reportedly measures noise that triggers a camera to capture the vehicle’s license plate, similar to red-light cameras for drivers who run lights and school zone traffic cameras that catch speeding drivers.

Specifics about a timeline, fines and other details are still being determined.

City Public Works staff is working with the police department about how and where to install the new technology.

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