Fort Worth Police say they are doing everything in their power to
tackle speeding, reckless driving and street racing issues that continue
to be frequent complaints to the department, according to a recent
report to the City Council.
By the numbers: Between November 2022 and April,
police issued 12,932 traffic citations, including 1,690 for school zone
violations, the report said.
- In addition, 61 fatal car accidents occurred, including 21 incidents involving pedestrians.
What they’re saying: To encourage safer driving,
Assistant Police Chief Robert Alldredge said police have ramped up their
presence in the areas where speeding complaints and accidents are
frequent. They are also using radar trailers and vacant marked patrol
cars to help slow traffic.
In the same six-month span, people reported 1,074
incidents of street racing or street takeovers across the city. Many of
the calls were about reckless motorists “hot rodding,” or driving
vehicles with loud engines, were screeching their tires or accelerating
Why it matters: Street takeovers pose a serious problem because they block police and other emergency vehicles.
During street takeovers, drivers perform dangerous
and daring stunts like donuts as hundreds of onlookers stand by. These
takeovers obstruct an entire street or intersection.
What's next: Alldredge expressed optimism that
lawmakers in Austin will give their approval to legislation this session
aimed at bolstering laws for police dealing with organized street
racing and street takeovers.
- The City Council passed an ordinance two years ago that fines spectators at street races $500 just for being there.
“One of the greatest resources we have, in all honesty, is the
spectator ordinance,” Alldredge said. “We’ve been able to make quite a
few arrests on that. Not only can we arrest them, but if they’re in a
vehicle, we will tow their cars and make it inconvenient for them.”
To better address street racing, police want to:
- Place additional traffic cameras in areas where the activity is frequent.
- Use mobile speed radars and license plate readers in these same areas.
- Educate drivers about the hazards of street racing and takeovers.
- Work with other law enforcement agencies in the region to develop effective strategies.