Georgia lawmakers put several new bills into law recently that aim at cracking down on illegal street racing. Illegal street racing has become a major problem around the state and even in the North Gwinnett area.
Gwinnett police have made it a mission to hold those participating in illegal street racing and reckless driving on roads and in parking lots accountable. The department has put enforcement details out into the community to catch those participating and promoting illegal street racing and reckless driving.
One such enforcement detail, which was a collaboration between different units within the police department, was out over the weekend enforcing the new laws. Officers made eight arrests and secured three felony and five misdemeanor warrants during that time. Over the weekend, Gwinnett police also issued 45 citations and impounded seven vehicles.
One new law that was put into effect on May 3, 2021, is Georgia House Bill 534. The bill, titled “Reckless Stunt Driving” (40-6-390.1) states, “anyone convicted of reckless stunt driving will be subjected to license suspension, a fine of not less than $300, and a period of imprisonment of no less than 10 days and up to six months. Reckless stunt driving is defined as any person who operates a vehicle while drag racing or laying drags in reckless disregard for the safety of persons on a highway or on private property without property owner consent. A second conviction within a five-year period will lead to increased fines and longer required jail time. A third conviction in a five-year period will see the offender ruled as a Habitual Violator and lead to further enhanced penalties. If declared a Habitual Violator, the State of Georgia can confiscate the vehicle being driven at the time of the offense.”
Georgia lawmakers also passed a bill focusing on holding the people who promote street racing responsible as well. The law, Georgia Code 16-11-43 says “Any person who knowingly promotes or organizes an exhibition of illegal drag racing, in violation of Code Section 40-6-186, or of laying drags, in violation of Code Section 40-6-251, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature.”
“Street racing is illegal, dangerous and taken very seriously. It can lead to injury, property damage, loss of driving privileges and jail time. We will continue to combat this issue through regular enforcement details,” Gwinnett Police said in a statement.