Zero-Tolerance Policy For Easter Sunday Cruising Offences In Santa Ana

SANTA ANA (CBS) — For the past 20 years Santa Ana has been the destination for people to cruise their cars on Easter Sunday, but this year police will have a zero-tolerance policy for traffic offenses and close off lanes on a second major street.

Officers will block off lanes on Bristol Street from 17th Street to Callen’s Common, Main Street from 17th Street to Dyer Road and Edinger Avenue  from Main Street to Raitt Street from 6 p.m. Sunday to 3 a.m. Monday in Santa Ana.

According to police, the streets usually draw thousands of revelers, some of whom in the past have engaged in flashing, vandalism and other petty  crimes.  This year they can expect to spend the day in the city’s jail if  they get out of line.

“The basic message is if you disturb the peace or break the law you’re  going to be arrested,” said Captain Anthony Bertagna.  “And if you’re doing the bounce in the car you’ll be cited, so it’s like a no-tolerance policy for any kind of  disruptive behavior.”

Cruisers come to Santa Ana every Sunday during the summer, but it’s become “ground zero for cruising” on Easter and Cinco de Mayo, with 4,000 to 5,000 cars and 15,000 to 20,000 people not in their cars, Bertagna  says.

Originally the revelers gravitated to Bristol Street but the street would become so congested that if something happened, police couldn’t get to it.  Last year police blocked off the number one lanes north and southbound to let emergency vehicles through which pushed all traffic to Main Street, something the officers didn’t expect.

“So this year we’re doing the same thing on Main Street, which will be a problem because it only has two lanes each way,” Bertagna said.

Revelers should expect more police than usual patrolling the city Sunday.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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