Members of Palm Beach County car clubs known for “takeovers” of intersections, shopping plazas and warehouse racing were issued over 70 citations and a few were arrested last week by deputies in another crackdown on the gatherings.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said it learned last Thursday that the clubs were planning to meet in a plaza at Forest Hill Boulevard and Military Trail, at a road block on Interstate 95 at 45th Street and at the intersections of Community Boulevard and Military Trail and Silver Beach Road and U.S. 1.
Deputies and West Palm Beach Police officers made 50 traffic stops, issued 46 traffic citations and six criminal citations, two racing citations and 17 spectator citations. They towed four cars and wrote four information reports, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The Sheriff’s Office did not release additional information on the three arrests aside from the charges: racing on the highway, criminal mischief, fleeing to elude and resisting arrest without violence.
In April, the Sheriff’s Office raided another meetup in Jupiter and arrested seven, some of who were minors. Deputies cited dozens of spectators in that event.
Law enforcement agencies across South Florida regularly make arrests and issue citations for those street racing, stunt driving and taking over intersections, all misdemeanors under Florida law. Anyone gambling on the events, recording them or posting about them on social media can be cited as spectators under the new law that took effect in October.
Citations have been on the rise in recent years, data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows. Last year, deputies in Palm Beach County documented 83 criminal violations for racing on highways, compared with 38 the year before and 23 in 2020.
The vast majority of the racing on highways citations in Palm Beach County last year have been dropped, the data shows. The same holds true for Broward County criminal citations for racing on highways; the numbers have steadily increased and most offenses were dropped, the FLHSMV data shows.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office warned stunt drivers in early March they’d be busting the meetups. Three were arrested in intersection takeovers in Fort Lauderdale. Then a week later, six more were arrested. And by the end of the month, law enforcement took another seven to jail.
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