Change in reckless driving, illegal street racing laws in Texas start September 1

One of the laws allows agencies to seize vehicles involved in reckless driving, street racing

SAN ANTONIO – Texas law enforcement will have one more tool to deter street racing and reckless drivers during street takeovers.

House Bill 2889 gives police the right to impound the cars of those charged with street racing or reckless driving, whether it’s a felony or misdemeanor. HB 1442 allows agencies to seize the cars of those involved in reckless driving and racing.

Some of those expensive vehicles could be auctioned off by law enforcement, said San Antonio Police Sgt. James Smith.

“I really think this is going to be a very beneficial law to help keep the citizens of San Antonio a lot safer,” he said.

“We’re not going to catch them all. But I think once word of mouth gets out there and they start seeing their buddies’ cars getting seized and filed on and possibly auctioned or converted to agency use. I think this is going to have a drastic effect, in my opinion, of maybe stopping this behavior,” Smith added.

Charles Niemeyer, president of the Alamo Area Corvette Club, said illegal takeovers and street racing are giving legitimate car clubs a bad name. “We’ve had a couple try to join our club that we’re in. They call it the midnight clubs and we, I won’t condone it and I won’t allow them to join our club because we’re not into that.”

Austin Police made several arrests following a street takeover earlier this year. More than 16 people were arrested and warrants for 32 more were issued. Six vehicles were recovered.

Lt. Jay Swann said activity in takeovers has dwindled down since then.

“It is so dangerous. It’s not fun. It’s not funny. It’s not cute. It is It’s very, very dangerous activity,” he said.

About the Author:

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.