Following a series of street racing incidents in Dallas over the weekend, the Dallas Police Department plans to start cracking down on spectators as well as participants.
According to a release, a new ordinance to be presented to the Dallas City Council would allow officers to cite attendees as well as racers.
Spectators not only give the racers an audience, they also create a physical barrier, blocking off streets with their cars and mass presence.
Over the weekend of April 25-26, a number of street races took place, and resulted in one death.
One took place in Uptown Dallas, in the parking lot of CVS at the intersection of Cole and Lemmon Avenue. Another, which was documented on Twitter, took place in East Dallas at the intersection of Live Oak and Skillman Streets.
There were also incidents at I-35 and Royal Lane and the 9100 block of SouthLink Dr., south of I-20, where a participant died from a race-related accident.
The department’s street racing task force executed:
- 224 citations
- 115 traffic stops
- 114 calls received
- 2 felony arrests
- 20 grams of marijuana, seized
Representing large gatherings of people who are not socially distancing, the races are also ignoring the current stay-at-home directive, designed to discourage the spread of COVID-19.
Street racing has been on the rise in urban areas, including Houston and Fort Worth, but particularly the West Coast where hundreds of people have died.
In Los Angeles, they're using helicopters with technology that allows pilots to see in the dark.
A DPD spokesperson said that they've been "evaluating the successes of those agencies on the West coast who currently have a similar ordinance in place," and the new draft ordinance will be presented before the City Council during the public safety briefing on May 11.