The roar of engines on the 71 Freeway was loud and long enough to rouse Chino Hills residents from their sleep during a 10 to 15-minute time period last Saturday ending at 2:45 a.m.
More than 50 residents from all areas of the city posted comments on social media and several residents who called the Chino Hills Police Department were referred to the California Highway Patrol.
A resident who lives near Pine Avenue said she was waiting to hear the sound of a crash and neighbors along Eucalyptus Avenue from Rancho Hills Drive to Garden Court, Village Oaks, and near the Hindu Temple also reported the street takeover.
Chino Hills Police Captain Garth Goodell said the noise and street racing complaints have diminished since a surge earlier in the year, but complaints still arise occasionally.
Residents have also recently complained about speeding on Chino Hills Parkway and Carbon Canyon Road.
Capt. Goodell said traffic deputies will be providing focused enforcement on Chino Hills Parkway over the next few weeks, specifically through the holidays, along with the strategic placement of the digital traffic message board for increased driver education.
He said he would also be in contact with the California Highway Patrol regarding the citizen complaints on speeding vehicles on the 71 Freeway.
The captain said loud vehicles accelerating or racing on the 71 can be heard by occupants whose homes are adjacent to the freeway.
“There is little to no sound wall to block or reduce the noise and unfortunately, the freeway and easement fall under the jurisdiction of the California Highway Patrol and the California Department of Transportation,” he said.
The captain explained that the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department continues its work with the Inland Empire Street Racing Task Force to address street racing throughout the Inland Empire.
“We would like to remind the community that taking part in a street race is a violation of California Vehicle Code 23109(a)—speed contest,” he said. “This is a misdemeanor and can result in a jail sentence of 90 days and a $1,000 fine.”
In addition, violators will have their vehicle impounded for 30 days resulting in excess of $2,000 in tow fees, he said.
The incidents in illegal street racing began occurring during the pandemic when stay-at-home orders reduced traffic and allowed vehicles to operate at higher speeds, said officials.
The street racing event host uses social media to provide a meeting location and notify participants of locations they will be driving during the evening.
The Task Force shares information about street racing in addition to hosting training and providing resources with other agencies.