Oregon drivers and pedestrians have lost their lives due to illegal street racing, prompting the state Senate to enact a measure with stricter penalties for anyone guilty of the crime on April 6, 2023.
By a 19-7 majority in favor, Senators from all parties could send Senate Bill 615 to the House. On a first offense, anyone convicted of street racing would face up to 364 days in prison, a $6,250 fine, or both. If you’re caught breaking the law again within five years, you might face up to five years in jail, a $125,000 fine, or both.
When two or more cars race each other unlawfully on a public road, we call it “street racing.” According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, a racer died, and two others were wounded in an illegal race in north Portland in February.
A Portland bystander was murdered in August last year during a street racing incident. The measure legalizes criminal forfeiture laws, which permit the seizure of property used in the commission of a crime to confiscate the vehicles of street racers.
“Street racing is dangerous for racers, other road users, and pedestrians,” the bill’s chief sponsor, Sen. Chris Gorsek, D-Troutdale, said in a statement. “Increasing the options available to law enforcement, such as locking up speed racers’ cars, will deter this reckless and dangerous activity and save lives.”
A large audience has become aware of street racing thanks to the “Fast & Furious” film series. “Fast & Furious should be in our theaters, not on our streets,” said Sen. Mark Meek, D-Gladstone, who presented the bill on the Senate floor. “This legislation will protect families and make Oregon safer for everyone.”
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The law broadens the definition of speed racing to include anyone responsible for planning and executing an event, including blocking a roadway or erecting a barrier. Republican Klamath Falls Senator Dennis Linthicum voted no on the measure.
He said that the broader definition is problematic because it may unknowingly catch minors following older family members’ orders. He argued that the legislation should put the onus on the motorists. “We’ve stretched the boundary, and we’ve stretched the boundary just an inch too far,” he said. Speed racing in Oregon is punishable by a class A traffic charge of roughly $440.
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1 thought on “Oregon Senate Passes Street-racing Ban After Numerous De@ths”
I think it’s a great idea! I wish they would get just as tough on drugs.