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Stopping illegal street racing and exhibition in Birmingham

Drag racing
Drag racing
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 5:00 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 25, 2021 at 7:44 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - People who live in the city of Birmingham are continuing to complain about drag or street racing.

One downtown resident says the illegal racing happens every weekend.

That fear is real for people who complain about street racing, or what police call exhibition driving. This is where drivers stop, do burnouts and then speed off.

Birmingham Police said illegal racing led to one woman’s death earlier this year.

52-year-old Brandy Ballard was on her way to work when she struck another vehicle that police contend was involved in street racing on Arkadelphia Road.

This past Saturday, one downtown resident complained about street racing on 3rd Avenue North near the Alabama Theater.

The Birmingham Police Department has set up special patrols. Earlier this year during one special operation in June, the police department arrested 17 and cited 700.

Still, it’s a problem. The city is looking to get the legislature to authorize cameras to help nab some of the racers.

City leaders are fearful illegal racing will put people at risk.

“Some idiot down there doing burnouts is going to lose control and end up on the sidewalk or in the front of a building on top of some pedestrian or their pet,” said Birmingham City Councilman Darrell O’Quinn.

The head of the city council’s public safety committee is also concerned.

“One lady was innocently driving on the road and was not participating in any way and was a victim and unfortunately lost her life,” said Birmingham City Councilman Hunter Williams.

Aside from cameras, the city is also looking at popular racing streets in downtown which are one-way streets to possibly turn them into two-way streets to make them less attractive for street racing.

Again, police officers are out in special units looking for those racers hoping to catch them before anyone else dies.

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