LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)– A police crackdown is underway on illegal street racing in Colorado. A CBS4 Investigation has found street racing is no longer relegated to empty roads in the middle of nowhere; the cars are now speeding down Denver interstates on a weekly basis.
CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger found there is a ritual behind the racing. The location of a ‘car meet’ is briefly flashed on the internet.
Monitoring the web traffic, CBS4 investigators attended three different car meets across the metro area, at a strip mall in Littleton, Red Rocks park in Morrison and at a park ‘n’ ride off Interstate 25 in Northglenn.
At the car meets CBS4 found parking lots filled with dozens, and in some cases, hundreds of drivers ready to show off their cars and talk openly about racing.
“I got a speeding ticket three weeks ago for going 105mph in a 45 mph,” a young man told Sallinger.
After the meets, a pack of cars take to the streets in what organizers call a “cruise.” A CBS4 crew joined the pack at the Littleton event and witnessed multiple cars without license plates and cars buzzing by at more than 100 mph.
Before a race begins a group of vehicles often form a moving blockade of any regular motorist behind them.
“They see each other on the highway, then slow down to 40 mph,” one car enthusiast explained the drivers drop down a gear and then wait for “three honks, then they go.”
Other cars leave the pack on the interstate and race on city streets. The racing videos, complete with winners and losers, are then posted on the internet.
As spring and summer begins, a task force of local and state police is trying to outmaneuver racers who are equipped with radar detectors, scanners and cell phones.
“They have the ability to communicate with each other and funnel their people into area where they want them to go,” explained Trooper Nate Reid with the Colorado State Patrol.
As police vow to keep a closer watch on car meets, car meet organizers are changing their patterns, from routinely holding events on Sunday nights, to being more secretive about their plans.
At a daytime meet at Red Rocks, the organizers led a cruise to Echo Lake on Mount Evans, but announced more was to come.
“We will have a meet tonight only for the people that go up will we identify where we go,” announced one of the organizers.
Another way State Patrol is trying to keep the interstates safe is by encouraging racers to take it to the track to participate in controlled racing conditions at Bandimere Speedway.
LINK: Bandimere Speedway
Written for cbsdenver.com by CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger and CBS4 Producer Mark Ackerman