New law aims to crack down on street takeovers across Texas

Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1442 into law on Friday June 9th.

A new law could help deter street takeovers from happening across Texas.

Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 1442 into law Friday.

“You never know who you’re going to hit, who you’re going to kill, or who you’re going to hurt. And so that’s why this provision is so important because it is intended to be a large deterrence,” Representative Ann Johnson said.

Rep. Johnson, out of Harris County, is passionate about the legislation she authored.

The law will help prosecute and seize vehicles after reckless driving incidents.

“We were going to take your car. If you continue to engage in this conduct,” Johnson said.

Street takeovers, which have plagued San Antonio and other cities like Austin, fall into this category.

An incident this weekend led to three arrests, four misdemeanors, three vehicles impounded, two firearms seized, and two traffic citations.

The legal change allows vehicles to be taken and held in wider instances rather than just for felony or misdemeanor class A reckless driving charges.

It has Bexar County district attorney Joe Gonzales optimistic.

“Hopefully, this will serve as a deterrent and keep people from making that decision to get behind the wheel and engage in this dangerous activity,” Gonzales said.

San Antonio Police Sergeant Washington Moscoso says this bill will help on the law enforcement side as well.

“If we seize it, you know, on Saturday, they just can’t show up on Monday and go pick up their car from the pound. They’ve got to wait for the seizure hearing,” Moscoso said.

With this new legislation, the hope is to keep roads safer for Texans across the state.

“It gives us the broader ability to seize those and keep these people that are breaking the law from being able to do so,” Moscoso said.

“Anything that helps us do that is a good thing as far as I’m concerned,” Gonzales said.

HB 1442 will go into effect on September 1st.

In February, Governor Abbott put together a task force to crack down on street takeovers, it’s made up of several DPS divisions. KSAT 12 News sent an email to both Abbott’s office and DPS about this task force, but as of this story’s publishing, there has been no response back.


About the Authors

Leigh Waldman is an investigative reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Alexis Montalbo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.

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