Baton Rouge police looking to crack down on street racing as parish enforces harsher penalties
BATON ROUGE - Baton Rouge police said they will have extra cops on duty Friday night, looking out for street racing and dangerous car stunts that have frequently disrupted traffic in the capital area.
Tire marks at the Siegen Village shopping center can still be seen a week after street racers did stunts in the same parking lot.
It's an issue that's far from new.
Wednesday, the East Baton Rouge Metro Council passed an ordinance to increase punishment on stunt driving since leaders say the reckless drivers seem to be repeat offenders.
"I can say that there are a few participants we have on our radar," BRPD spokesman L'Jean McKneely said.
A few months ago, street racers did the same thing on College Drive, blocking traffic and leaving drivers in gridlock to perform the stunts.
One driver with ties to the group tried to get away from police and ended up killing a woman.
In June, Baton Rouge street racers shut down streets in New Orleans, showing off guns and even jumping on police cars.
The new ordinance beefs up jail time and increases fines from $500 to $1,000 for first-time offenders. Your license may also be suspended under the legislation.
"We feel that if we're increasing the fines so you're spending more money, suspending your license, and then we're towing your car, we're holding you accountable," McKneely said.
The new ordinance will target not just drivers, but those who gather to watch the stunts, as well.
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