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New Haven police deploying speed tables, GPS trackers, drones, stop sticks to stop drag racing

These new tactics have already led to the safe recovery of 11 vehicles.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — New Haven leaders gathered Wednesday to announce new measures to quell traffic violence after a Massachusetts man was killed and teenage bystanders were hurt in drag racing activities last October on Sargent Drive.

Long Warf Drive is home to dozens of food trucks like Jose Corona’s Mexicali Truck. It was also a historic site for drag racing until the city installed speed tables two years ago. 

“Before they were driving very faster,” Corona said. “But now with that one, they stopped the traffic more slower.”  

“We have not seen any drag racing since,” said Mayor Justin Elicker flanked by city officials in front of construction along Sargent Drive where the city is installing four new speed tables to discourage racing.

Elm City officials came together near the site where Carlos Rodriguez was killed and teenage girls were hurt in that October crash to announce a multi-pronged effort to stop the racing. 

“There was a carload of young teenage girls that had nothing to do with the race and some of them were seriously injured,” Police Chief Karl Jacobson said. “These are the measures that are going to help protect those young girls.” 

“These issues are hard. They’re really hard to address because the people who are engaged in these activities want to find ways around everything we do to stop it," Elicker added.

Four new speed tables—spaced out—are under construction on Sargent Drive. 

“Speed tables are longer, they’re easier for larger vehicles to navigate and better for traffic," City engineer Giovanni Zinn said. 

New Haven police also now using new GPS technology to track and not pursue violent suspects and stolen cars, which has led to the safe recovery of 11 vehicles.  

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Police said they’re planning to use that same technology during races and unveil a new weekend detail focused on drag and dirt bike racing.  

But that’s not all that’s in their arsenal.  

“They’re going to have to be looking for another place to race," said Jacobson.

Police also remind residents a new state law allows spectators to be ticketed. 

Samaia Hernandez is a reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at shernandez@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


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