We have all seen at least one action movie with a heart pounding race scene. Perhaps the race was an impromptu highway chase or a staged event between two vehicles down a culvert or neighborhood street. Although these races are fun to watch, we can all acknowledge the risk. The chances that a dangerous crash could result in injury or death are high when the vehicles reach these high speeds.
States throughout the country have laws in place to deter this behavior and help keep neighborhoods safe from the dangers of street racing. The same is true in Texas. Not only is street racing illegal, but lawmakers have made recent efforts to increase penalties.
How has the law around street racing changed in Texas?
Governor Greg Abbott pushed forward two new laws to further crackdown on street racing. Lawmakers state the move empowers police to stop street takeovers. The group defines these takeovers as events where cars drive upwards of 130 miles per hour without lights and in the dark, racing towards a set finish line. The two new laws are:
- House Bill 1442. This law provides enforcement officers and prosecutors with tools to go after street racing and takeovers in the state as well as the ability to pursue additional penalties.
- House Bill 2899. This new law provides enforcement officers the ability to remove vehicles from the road if the drivers are using the vehicle for street racing or reckless driving exhibitions. Previous law only allowed an officer to impound the vehicles if there was property damage or injury. Now, the officer can impound the vehicle if the prosecutor has charged the owner with racing.
Governor Abbott also announced a task force that will focus on street takeovers throughout Texas.
What if the cops accuse me of street racing?
Street racing allegations are serious. Prosecutors will often look to connect additional allegations of organized crime. It is wise for those in this situation to take the allegations seriously and build a defense. An attorney experienced in this area of the law can help.