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Stricter penalties possible for street racing in Arizona

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — Apparently, street racing is becoming a problem big enough to possibly warrant heavier penalties.

State Sen. Paul Boyer (R-North Phoenix) is behind SB-1659 after people have told him that street racers are “terrorizing” them throughout the Valley.

“A lady lost a loved one when a street racer ran 100 miles per hour into her car,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM, adding street racers and their supporters “doxxed” a woman for complaining about what they do.

“They put her address on their social media and told everyone to harass her for it.”

To be sure, Boyer says street — or drag — racing is nothing new.

But now, police are being shot at and navigating through fireworks when they try to break up the races.

“This bill will protect the public who can’t even get through intersections,” Boyer said. “It’ll protect the spectators because there are times when cars will careen out of control, and hit the spectators.

“And also, ultimately, [it will protect] the street racers that harm themselves and others when they’re flying down the street at 100, 110, or 120 miles per hour.”

If the bill becomes law, it would impound street race cars for 30 days and fine participants $1,000.

Boyer has support from practically everyone except for street racers.

“You know, there might be a street racing caucus out there, but they have not reached out to me yet,” he joked. “I’m sure I will probably hear from them pretty soon.”

Right now, Boyer says south Phoenix and Maryvale report the most problems, but he doesn’t want them spreading throughout the state.

In a statement, Phoenix Councilwoman Laura Pastor offered her support.

“Our office has received numerous complaints from constituents and police officers have expressed the need for additional tools to combat the issue,” she said.

“We hope that this bill, once approved will aid local law enforcement and help our communities be a safer place.”

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