White Plains officials push legislation to crack down on drag racing
White Plains is pushing legislation in an effort to scare off street racers for good.
The new law will allow the city to seize the vehicles of owners who are convicted of competing in speed contests through asset forfeiture.
"It's going to save lives," said Mayor Tom Roach. "I mean, we have rules of the road, we have speed limits for a reason. People racing on streets where there are pedestrians, where there are other users, cyclists. I mean someone could be walking home from work and this is going on. So, not only is it dangerous to the participants, but it's dangerous to those who are in the vicinity."
City Police Chief Joe Castelli says most of the racing occurs on Westchester Avenue near the corporate parks heading into Rye.
The law is already in place in Yonkers thanks to James Nolan, who lost his brother, Mike, to a drag racing-related incident in 2017.
Nolan is the one who proposed the idea to White Plains officials. And he's doing the same in Mount Vernon and Peekskill.
There has been some pushback over the proposed law. The Hudson Valley Chapter of the NYCLU tells News 12 they're concerned this will target low-income people and people of color, saying, "White Plains should not be ramping up policing and economic punishment - especially in the midst of both a pandemic that has financially devastated communities, and a movement to drastically reduce and transform policing."
A public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8.