The Birmingham Police Department (BPD) is looking for new ways to combat the reckless driving plaguing the city.

Earlier this week, a video surfaced on social media showing Birmingham police officers attempting to break up an exhibition driving incident and bring the participants into custody. A man stepped in front of a BPD car while it was pursuing one of the exhibition cars, which was in reverse. 

The police car bumped the man in the back before he quickly jumped out of the way, and the two vehicles collided. The officer in the vehicle's driver's seat then jumped out of the car and attempted to open the door of the exhibition car, only for it to speed off in reverse.

Warning: the video contains explicit language.

BPD released a statement Tuesday about the incident, which occurred on New Year's Day. The statement said Birmingham Police was aware the video was on the internet and that it is in the process of reviewing the officers' actions and others at the scene.

Birmingham City councilman Clinton Woods told WBRC on Wednesday that the city is "being put in a position to have to be more aggressive with this."

He said that the city council would bring a bill back to the Alabama Legislature this session to get automatic traffic enforcement cameras in their city. The Birmingham City Council presented a smaller bill to state officials in 2022, but it never came to fruition.

Automatic traffic cameras would allow the BPD to collect data about where exhibition driving is happening as well as the make and model of the vehicles involved. 

The New Year's incident was not Birmingham's only issue with exhibition drivers. In July, a 14-year-old pedestrian died after a car struck him during a race in west Birmingham.

In August, Birmingham Mayor Woodfin vowed stricter penalties for exhibition driving in response to a teenage female being shot after a conflict between drivers.

Woodfin and a handful of state legislators announced their intention in November to back a bill to impose higher penalties on drag racing, burnouts, donuts and other reckless driving activities in the upcoming legislative session. 

Woodfin joined the members of the Jefferson County Legislative Delegation to propose the legislation. It was developed alongside the Birmingham Police Department and members of the Alabama Legislature.

The bipartisan effort has the backing of State Reps. Allen Treadaway (R-Morris), Rolanda Hollis (D-Birmingham) and State Sen. Rodger Smitherman (D-Birmingham), according to a press release from Woodfin's office.

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.

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