It isn't uncommon for automotive enthusiast groups to organize gatherings in large commercial parking lots. Quite often the local businesses even support the groups due to increased sales generated by the crowds. Such is apparently not the case in Riverside, California. The city believes large automotive-focused get togethers promote street racing and that must also be the purpose of any vehicle equipped with performance modifications. To quell the situation, last Friday night around 11PM, police surprised 150 vehicles and their owners during a meet at Canyon Crossing shopping center. Fifty police cruisers from Riverside County, Irwindale, Ontario and a few other regions were paid overtime to block off parking lot exits and issue citations. Tickets were written for illegal modifications, paperwork violations, window tint and having no front license plate. Twenty vehicles were even impounded due to suspected stolen parts.
The funds for the crackdown, and others like it, get drained from the California state gas tax account. Typically the gas tax goes towards transportation maintenance and improvements, like better roads and public transport. Rather than put all the money into aiding traffic flow, California's math calculations have determined that more revenue can be generated by handing out fix-it tickets with increased frequency. Of course, that is as long as the violation fares are more than law enforcement overtime expenses. Even still, most likely a few folks will fight their citations and thus drain more funds from the state government through the legislative process. Thanks for the tip everyone!