DALLAS - Dallas police are taking steps to crack down on street racing by making rules tougher for those who take part.
A proposal to the Dallas City Council on Monday would make it illegal to watch a street race or allow it on personal property, with fines of $500. It also sets up a process to impound vehicles used in street racing.
Multiple council members said street racing is becoming an increasing issue in their neighborhoods and DPD says the data backs that up.
So far in 2020, Dallas PD has issued more than 5,400 street racing-related citations and seen a significant increase in the number of people participating in these events in recent months – possibly due to less traffic on the streets.
DPD says just this past weekend they fielded 100-plus 911 calls about street racing, issued 500 citations, made 12 arrests, seized five guns and recovered one stolen vehicle.
Under the proposed ordinance, vehicles involved in street racing could be declared a nuisance if the driver or passenger has a previous conviction for fleeing from police, reckless driving or racing on a highway. They also have to be the registered owner of the vehicle, or related to or have the same address as the registered owner.
“Essentially, being able to determine if these vehicles are being used as a nuisance and if these vehicles can be treated as such, it’s a lot easier to identify. It could be we’re finally saying in Dallas you’re not going to have those street races here in the city or you’ll lose your vehicle,” said councilman Adam McGough.
The goal is to bring the proposed ordinance to the full city council later this month or next month so DPD can begin enforcing it as soon as possible.
At Monday’s public safety meeting, Chief Renee Hall also provided an update on DPD’s crime reduction plan.
According to the data presented, Dallas saw in April about a five percent reduction in homicides and a 15 percent drop in robberies. But Hall said the city is seeing an increase in aggravated assaults this year in some parts of the city. DPD also executed 22 search warrants, seized 46 guns and 25,000 grams of marijuana.
The chief also recognized the effects of COVID-19, with less traffic on the streets and more people staying at home may be skewing some of the data. It has also affected their ability to conduct some operations.
Hall says as businesses begin to open back up and traffic comes back, they should be able to get more accurate crime data to base future operations off of and where they need to be concentrating resources.