Police crack down on illegal racers PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 24 November 2014 11:59

Police on Sunday dawn impounded nine motorcycles and a luxury vehicle and their drivers issued with citation tickets and temporary operator’s permits (TOPS) for alleged involvement in illegal racing activity along major streets in Zamboanga City.

This, as Mayor Beng Climaco ordered an intensified drive against illegal racers due to persisting complaints concerning the illegal activity. Areas specified in the complaints include Veterans Avenue near the vicinity of the Zamboanga Doctor’s Hospital and San Jose Gusu.

Public Safety Company Commander PSupt. Ariel Huesca said discreet mobile patrols conducted by his team along Veterans Avenue between 1am-3:30am Sunday (Nov. 23) yielded nine motorcycles and a Nissan Terrano, the driver of which was suspected to be one of the bettors in the said race. In addition, the PSC team issued 12 citation tickets and 2 TOPs.

Seven of the nine motorcycles were involved in illegal racing.

Mayor Climaco said the campaign against illegal racers should be unrelenting given the hazards it pose not only to the people involved in the activity but also to other motorists.

In his report to Mayor Climaco, Huesca said his men, for several times, engaged the illegal racers in  chase from Veterans Avenue to Tetuan and the adjacent streets but would not pin down the daring culprits as they might be involved in an accident.

On numerous occasions, last Sunday, the illegal racers came close to hitting the islands and posts in the Sta. Cruz area as they are being chased. They would not also stop even if chasing policemen were able to get hold of the motorcycle’s rear angle guard, according to Huesca.

In the last four months, two illegal racers ended up in the intensive care unit due to a chasing incident with Huesca’s team during anti-race operations along San Jose Gusu and Nunez extension.

Most if not all of the illegal racers are teen-agers and young adults. They usually surface at past midnight, when policemen are out of the streets. With the engines of their modified motorcycles,revving, they square off in streets for as fast as 12 seconds, amidst bettors and spectators.

Huesca assured that the crackdown against racing will be a continuing activity stressing that City Police Director Col. Angelito Casimiro has instructed the PSC to focus operations on drag racing activities.

Meanwhile, Huesca clarified that people involved in the illegal racing cannot be apprehended as it is merely a traffic violation and is sanctioned by administrative fines under Republic Act 4136. However, if they are caught in the act of betting, people can be arrested for violation of anti-gambling law. On the other hand, offenders who engage policemen in a chasing incident, if collared, can be charged for disobedience to a lawful order or agent or person in authority. — Sheila Covarrubias