The Alabama House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday to increase penalties for exhibition driving, which has been an ongoing issue for cities like Birmingham over the past year.
The bill, sponsored by State Rep. Allen Treadaway (R-Morris), passed 95-3. It is similar to the Senate bill passed last week, sponsored by State Sen. Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham).
Treadaway’s bill would make it illegal to perform donuts, burnouts and other dangerous maneuvers in a motor vehicle. It would also outlaw street racing. First-time violators could earn up to three months in jail. Second offenders could land six months, and if they were to kill someone, they could land up to 20 years.
If the bill becomes law, courts would have the authority to prohibit convicted offenders from driving on public highways for 24 months.
Birmingham leaders such as the Birmingham City Council and Mayor Randall Woodfin have supported efforts to combat reckless driving and drag races. The Birmingham City Council even presented a smaller bill to combat exhibition driving to state officials in 2022, but it never came to fruition.
Several instances related to exhibition driving in 2022 resulted in death. A teenage girl died of gunshot wounds in August after a conflict broke out between two drivers. A 5-year-old boy and 15 other people were injured in December after a car hit other cars as well as a crowd of people after doing doughnuts in the middle of the street.
State Rep. Juandalynn Givan (D-Birmingham) also sponsored a bill that applies specifically to Jefferson County and was passed by the Alabama House last week. It would permit officials to tow and impound vehicles owned by first offenders for 10 days, second offenders for 20 days and third offenders for 30 days.
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