INDIANAPOLIS — The City of Indianapolis announced Thursday it's taking steps to reduce reckless and aggressive driving.
IMPD and Indiana State Police are partnering to combat unsafe driving habits on city streets and interstates, where officers and troopers have seen an uptick in street racing and aggressive drivers.
In a news conference Thursday, Mayor Joe Hogsett acknowledged the persistent complaints from residents that driving has worsened around Indianapolis over the last two years.
"We are taking this issue seriously, enhancing traffic enforcement in residential areas and places where we’ve seen illegal racing. Make no mistake—if you put other people's lives at risk with dangerous driving, you will pay the consequences," Hogsett said.
IMPD and ISP started working together in the spring to identify people organizing "pop-up spinning clubs" in parking lots and at intersections.
"In the past, we have seen local spinning groups take over specific areas or parking lots, charge for admission, and engage in criminal activity," said IMPD Commander of Special Operations Bureau Charles Deblaso. He said those events put participants, other drivers and nearby residents in danger.
Since the two departments started meeting monthly in March, they have recovered at least 67 stolen vehicles, arrested 26 people, recovered 17 firearms, and seized marijuana, cocaine and other narcotics.
IMPD acknowledged the rise of violent crime around the city and said it is the priority, but cracking down on reckless driving is another one of the department's responsibilities.
IMPD is also investing in additional technology, like handheld speed-detection devices, license plate readers and public safety cameras, to help combat speeding and reckless driving.
From the start of the year through May 31, IMPD gave 15,667 tickets or warnings for a total of 22,784 traffic offenses. In the same date range, ISP issued a total of 14,801 citations and warnings in Marion County.