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Stiffer Penalties for Street Racing

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Street racing is an insidiously stupid and frightening pastime that is a growing problem in Utah and across the nation.

Earlier this year, Eyewitness News viewers got a rare inside glimpse of what goes on. Home video showed a street racer’s vehicle reaching a speed of 130 miles per hour on 7th East between 33rd and 47th South in Salt Lake County. Such utter recklessness, we’re told, is not uncommon among those involved.

KSL is heartened that a legislative committee, in the aftermath of our investigative report, is reviewing Utah’s street racing laws and studying whether any action should be taken to deter the practice.

We hope lawmakers, indeed, will take the issue seriously.

The current penalty in Utah for street racing is a class-C misdemeanor. That’s simply not enough to deter those racers who willingly pay a token fine as the cost of engaging in a perverse, death defying activity.

In KSL’s view, stiffer fines are essential. In Texas, for example, it’s $2,000. And why not enact a law to allow seizure of the vehicles of street racers who get caught. That’s what they do in California. In Nevada, even spectators can wind up behind bars.

When it comes to curbing street racing, Utah shouldn’t be left in the slow lane.

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