Cracking down on street racing, first reading of ordinance passes

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Wichita City Council passed the first reading of an ordinance that looks to crack down on street racing.

Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple said if police were looking to crack down on street racing, the current ordinance places it under reckless driving. 

Whipple said the issue is that terminology is too broad, and it’s not effective in cutting down the street racing cases they’ve seen over the last year. 

The Wichita Police Department has looked to other cities on how they handle it and decided a specific one that targets street racing would be more effective. 

The ordinance, which passed its first reading, would make it so Wichita police can impound your car or motorcycle if it passes the second reading. It will go into effect on October 1 if passed by the City Council. Not only that, but if a person is in a private parking lot and is street racing, officers could step in if it is deemed dangerous. 

The one that is currently in place only allows officers to ticket the driver. 

Mayor Whipple believes the ordinance needs to be created after he said three people died in street racing. 

“The last thing we want to read about or see on the news is an entire family who winds up perishing because some people made some really bad decisions driving,” Whipple said. 

Whipple said harsher penalties would hopefully encourage people to take it more seriously. 

“We’re seeing problems with folks who are trying to recreate something they saw on TikTok’s, something they saw on social media, and in doing that, they’re out there on our highways and might not understand the dangers they’re putting themselves in and also other people in,” said Whipple. 

WPD will present the new ordinance to the city council at Tuesday morning’s meeting.

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