Fort Worth Makes it a Crime to Watch or Aid Illegal Street Races
Even though state law prohibits illegal street racing, nothing at the state level makes it a crime to watch.
On Tuesday, the Fort Worth City Council passed legislation making it illegal to gather to watch street races or to allow drivers to use private property for racing, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Those who violate the new ordinance could face a fine of up to $500.
The goal is to deter people from gathering for street races altogether, nut the law will also allow officers to use social media videos and security camera footage to identify spectators and fine them. Fort Worth Police Chief Neil Noakes believes that curbing spectators will lead to fewer races:
Prior to this, we would just try and chase down the racers or chase down the participants, but getting the spectators, that’s what really drives this event. If we can curb some of the spectators we can curb some of these racing events.
The legislation was passed n response to a rash of deaths last year due to illegal street racing. NBC DFW reports that the Fort Worth Police Department has received around 2,500 calls related to street racing or reckless driving stunts over the course of the last 17 months.
A couple from Fort Worth was killed last November when they pulled into the path of two vehicles that were engaged in an illegal street race.