LOS ANGELES — Watching street races would be illegal under an ordinance approved by the City Council and sent to the mayor for approval.
The ordinance, passed Wednesday, makes it an infraction to watch a street race. First-time offenders face a maximum fine of $250. Repeat offenders could go to jail.
The ordinance also tacks a $40 administrative fine on the fee to retrieve cars impounded for racing. Drag racing is a popular diversion for both teen-agers and young adults, who flock to wide boulevards to race souped-up cars in areas such as San Pedro, the San Fernando Valley and cities such as Carson.
“This problem has plagued our city for some time,” said Lt. Blaine Bolin of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Carson station. “The tradition of street racing goes back a couple of generations.”
“A lot of people feel this is just kids being kids but in fact we’ve had more than one fatality involving street racing,” he said. “It’s very serious to us.”
The county’s only legal venue for amateur drag racing is in Palmdale, about 40 miles north of Los Angeles.