Dallas police are proposing an aggressive approach to dangerous street racing.
At Monday’s Dallas City Council Public Safety Committee meeting, Dallas police presented ideas for a new ordinance. It included making it a crime to watch a street race.
Numbers released at the meeting showed calls regarding street racing steadily increased from 2016 to 2019, so Dallas police created a special task force to address street racing in the southern part of the city. In 2019, Dallas police said more than 23,000 citations were written, 400 arrests made and 1,400 cars towed.
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Dallas Police Assistant Chief Lonzo Anderson told city council members despite the progress, more could be done and felt if they could deter spectators from showing up, they could curb street racing’s popularity.
That proposal was met with support from council members.
“There are not a lot of other big crimes that we just sit back and allow people to watch and not hold them accountable for,” said council member Adam Bazaldua of District 7. “It’s a good stance for the city of Dallas to take.”
While in favor of the idea, councilman Adam McCough, District 10, questioned how it would be enforced.
“As soon as [police] show up, everybody scatters,” said councilman Adam McGough of District 10.
Dallas police said no other city in Texas currently targets spectators, but it was working with cities on the West Coast, who’ve had success with similar measures to see how it could be modeled here.
Police also proposed making it a crime to be a passenger in a vehicle that’s street racing, seizing vehicles of drivers caught racing and going after business owners that allow street racing on their property.
Council member Jamie Resendez has been vocal about fighting street racing in his district and said he supported a heavy-handed approach to stop it, but questioned how police and the city would be able to enforce some of the proposals.
“We can have ordinances all day long but how exactly would it be enforced?” Resendez said.
Council members suggested Dallas police research more on enforcement and check with other agencies like the Dallas County Sheriff's Office to see if they could help the city curb street racing. An ordinance could be drafted within 30 days and taken back before committee before ultimately going to the full council for a vote.