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States, Cities Expand Crackdown On Illegal Street Racing

Cities and states are starting to pass more legislation to crack down on illegal street racing. On June 4, 18-year-old Anthony Allegrini Jr. was shot and killed by Pennsylvania State Troopers on Philadelphia's main interstate, I-95, after law enforcement responded to reports of burnouts and drag racing, Scripps News reports. A few days later, Philadelphia City Councilman Mike Driscoll introduced legislation that unanimously passed to increase the fines associated with street racing crimes to $2,000, with the ability for law enforcement to seize the vehicles used. "You know, when I was a youngster, my car was the most important personal property of my life and I think we need to get back to sending a message to these young folks that your driver's license is a privilege, not a right," said Driscoll. The ordinance made Philadelphia the latest city to pass such legislation.


In February, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott launched a task force to cut down on illegal street racing. A few months earlier, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis did the same thing. Various cities around Colorado adopted new measures in 2022 to seize vehicles involved in street racing. The ordinances seem to be lowering the number of complaints filed to police departments. The Denver police reported 160 street racing complaints since the start of the year. At this rate, the year's total would nearly match 2022's total of 318 complaints, the lowest the department has seen since 2019. Street racing exploded during the pandemic. In New York City, police received more than 1,000 street racing complaints during a six-month period in 2020, a 500% increase from that same time period in 2019. The scene played out in cities nationwide as public unrest from lockdowns rose.

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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