Local authorities crack down on street racing

February 14, 2010 3:22:12 PM PST
There will be a crackdown on street racing after a series on incidents and complaints in southwest Harris County. Deputies will be targeting drivers who are challenging each other, putting themselves and other people on the road at risk. They're hoping to cut down on deadly accidents.

Residents in Mission Bend say this is a street racing hot spot. So the Harris County Sheriff's Department is putting extra patrols on it. Sheriff Adrian Garcia and Precinct 5 deputy constables, as well as DPS, are targeting street races.

"We're out here to make sure that the street racers get the attention that Mission Bend isn't the place to be entertaining themselves, racing on public streets," said Sheriff Garcia.

The sheriff says the county has several hot spots. The overnight activity has proven deadly. Two women were killed in 2008 on Westheimer Road. In another case, two 15-year-olds were street racing when their cars ended up in the ditch. Both teens were injured.

"The best thing we can do is to keep this kind of activity disorganized and the longer it stays disorganized, the better it is for everyone," said Sheriff Garcia.

HPD initiatives pushed some activity into the unincorporated areas. But Sheriff Garcia says he wants to send a message that the county will catch you, too.

"It is too dangerous, it causes a lot of harm and you are going to go to jail for it," he said.

Texas enacted a tough street racing law in 2003. The law makes street racing a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail. But sometimes, it could result in more serious charges, such as endangerment with a motor vehicle. The driver and passenger also face fines up to $2,000. People caught watching street races can face fines up to $500.