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'Someone can get hurt very easily': New ordinance to crack down on street racing

Metro Council President David James filed an ordinance that would penalize people for participating in street racing.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Burning rubber on the Waterson Expressway is something Metro Council President David James hopes will never happen again. 

"I know that they are truly trying to have fun, but its a very dangerous way to have fun," James said. 

He is referring to the street racers who blocked the expressway for hours on July 22, and multiple times before then.

"Those type of activities are not only dangerous to the people participating in them, but they're also dangerous to the people that live around there and anybody else that happens to be driving," he said. 

James added this is why he and Councilwoman Cassie Chambers Armstrong filed a 14 page ordinance this week.

"I think it's a very good solution considering the laws we have to work with. It's the the solution we have right now," he said. 

The ordinance penalizes people for participating in "reckless driving exhibitions." That includes burnouts, doughnuts, drifting, wheelies or other dangerous activities on a street.

If approved, the ordinance would ban people from coordinating through social media, encouraging others to gather, or collecting money for any drag racing competition.


"We need to make sure these type of things aren't happening in our city and that police have all the tools that they need to make sure that it doesn't," James said. 

He said vehicles will be impounded for six months if they are used in street racing. Also, first time offenders will be fined up fined up to $1,000 and up to $2,000 for each subsequent offense. 

"I feel like there will be people who will test the system, but they will also be the people who lose their $100,000, $200,00 car because of it, and they will have to rethink their situation after that," James said. 

As more people second guess their actions, he said the more lives will be saved. 

"It's real important that people who participate in these activities recognize the dangers that are involved, and how some child can walk into the street and anything can happen. Someone can get hurt very easily," James said 

James said council members will vote on the drag racing ordinance on Oct. 19, during their public safety meeting.

LMPD is asking anyone who sees large gatherings of racers to report it.

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