Langley Mounties are considering tougher enforcement of traffic laws on the night before the Langley Good Times Cruise-In next year after dangerous driving at unsanctioned gatherings on Friday, Sept. 9.
With thousands of hot rod and classic car buffs in town for the Cruise-In on Saturday, for years there have been informal “cruises” around the community, mostly in Langley City.
More than a decade ago, there were issues with drivers speeding and doing burnouts and doughnuts on public streets in front of crowds of onlookers, but the RCMP clamped down with a large presence of uniformed officers handing out tickets for dangerous driving, and such events faded.
In more recent years, the pre-Cruise-In unofficial events have mostly involved people driving around the downtown core, while spectators set up lawn chairs on the sidewalk to watch, something which also continued this year.
The unsanctioned burnouts also returned this year, however.
“Many vehicles and people chose Industrial Avenue for an unsanctioned event the night prior to the Cruise-In,” said Cpl. Holly Largy, spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.
There were more gatherings of cars in parking lots at the Willowbrook Mall, the A&W restaurant, Safeway, and Earls on 200th Street, at No Frills in Langley City, and up and down 200th Street from Fraser Highway to 88th Avenue, Largy said.
On Industrial Avenue there were crowds at barbecues and gatherings in front of the many auto parts and repair shops located there, and some drivers did doughnuts and burnouts on the streets.
At least one driver was pulled over by police after witnesses said he drifted around the corner onto Industrial from 200th Street.
Another driver spun his tires in a burnout on the narrow alley between Fraser Highway and Industrial, despite the significant police presence nearby around 6:30 p.m.
Largy said officers barricaded Industrial to keep a sense of order and safety, but said since there was no on-site security, enforcement efforts would have put officers at “significant risk.”
“Those in attendance showed a blatant disregard for traffic laws, liquor laws, cannabis laws and safety in general,” Largy said.
Parts of Industrial Avenue are now black with tire marks from burnouts and doughnuts.
Largy did not provide details on the number of cars that were thought to be involved in dangerous driving.
Largy said that while the last few years have been relatively quiet, “enforcement strategies will be revisited and likely bolstered for next year.”
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