CLEARWATER — The Clearwater Police Department reported making two separate street racing arrests Thursday night.
The arrests came during an enhanced enforcement detail to crack down on dangerous driving. Deputies focused on the Courtney Campbell Causeway, McMullen Booth Road, Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard and Drew Street.
"We are seeing an increase in serious vehicle crashes, so you can expect to see more focused traffic enforcement in the future," Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter stated in a press release. "The racing certainly reflects the most egregious violations, but all people need to be mindful of driving the speed limit, staying alert and not allowing themselves to become distracted."
A total of 42 traffic stops were conducted, with six arrests being made. Five of those arrests were for DUI, including one of the street racing incidents. Speeding citations were issued to 33 motorists.
The first street racing arrest occurred at approximately 7:40 p.m. at Drew Street and Hillcrest Avenue. Eric Howard, 43, of Clearwater, was stopped after he was reportedly racing another vehicle. Deputies state he was going 71 m.p.h. in a 40 m.p.h. zone and also driving under the influence. Howard was arrested and taken to the Pinellas County Jail on a charge of racing on a highway as well as DUI.
The second street racing arrest occurred at 9:09 p.m. at Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard, just west of Belcher Road. Landon Braciulis, 18, of Clearwater, was reportedly seen racing another vehicle. Deputies state he was going more than twice the speed limit – 86 m.p.h. in a 40 m.p.h. zone. Braciulis was arrested on a charge of racing on a highway and transported to the Pinellas County Jail.