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FHP cracks down on street racing as troopers search for suspect

ORLANDO, Fla. — Street racing is a growing problem in Florida.

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According to government data, the number of people cited for street racing has drastically increased in the last several years.

“There’s been an increased number of road racing incidents in the last five years,” said Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Patrick Riordan.

That’s why FHP has been cracking down on offenders.

“We are not going to tolerate this in Florida,” Riordan said.

A new law passed in 2022 clarifies definitions related to street racing and specifies the punishments people could face, even if they’re spectating.

Read: Troopers search for driver allegedly seen racing before violent crash in Marion County

“We’re also going to try to enforce the law very, very stringently,” said Lt. Riordan.

Most recently, over the weekend in Ocala, a street race led to a 38-year-old man ending up in the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

“They were driving at a high rate of speed,” Riordan said. “Driving in a reckless manner.”

According to FHP, a Mustang and Corvette were speeding on State Road 200 near SW 80th St. when the Corvette clipped another car, lost control and slammed into a pole and a tree.

Read: Florida police issue 223 citations over weekend to speeding motorists on bridge

The driver was thrown from the car.

FHP provided pictures of the man they believe was driving the silver Mustang. They described him as “a heavy-set white male with arm tattoos. He appeared to be bald under his ball cap and has a beard.”

Troopers said he hid his car behind a business before checking on the other driver, who was injured, but then took off.

Investigators are asking for the public’s help to find him.

Read: Orlando man dies after single-vehicle crash in south Orange County

“He needs to be held accountable, and we’re looking to get to the bottom of this,” Riordan said.

So far, in 2023, there have been 1,834 citations given out in Florida for street racing, which is more than double the citations given out in 2018.

Riordan hopes that being stricter on racers will help protect innocent drivers on the road.

“We’re putting a heightened sense of awareness about what’s going on,” Riordan said.

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