Dallas City Council voted Wednesday to pass an ordinance to beef up street racing laws.
“Street racing has challenged us for the last several years,” Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said. “This is violence. This is individuals coming into the city with weapons, with narcotics and firing shots - in some instances, shooting individuals and killing individuals as a result of reckless driving.”
The ordinance expands who could be cited for illegal street racing and dangerous trick driving.
“We are encouraged that the City Council is looking at the ordinance and looking to approve the ordinance that will allow us to not only have enforcement against those who are racing but those spectators. Those individuals who are watching it,” Hall said.
The ordinance not only makes it illegal to be a spectator, but also to be present in the planning of such an event.
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The ordinance also makes it an offense for a person to knowingly allow street racing and reckless driving exhibition on a premise they own, operate or control.
It allows for the seizing of a vehicle used in a street racing offense in some circumstances.
“It’s not a sport if no one is watching and so to be able to confiscate vehicles and ticket those individuals who are standing around and encouraging this behavior is a win for the police department,” Hall said. “We’re closing in with our traffic enforcement as well as our speed and racing task force.”
Councilman Jaime Resendez has been an advocate of eradicating street racing for some time.
“Since I’ve been on the council it has been a top priority for me,” Resendez said. “It is important to beef up this ordinance in order for this ordinance to have some teeth. What folks are out here doing is putting people’s lives in danger. They’re putting their own lives in danger.”
“DPD has had their hands tied for a long time, so I think it is time to give them another tool to have in the toolbox to try to limit – really eliminate this type of behavior,” Resendez added.