State, local leaders discuss exhibition driving legislation during town hall

Town Hall on exhibition driving
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 11:02 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Getting a handle on exhibition driving is going to be a big topic this legislative session. It was the main focus of a town hall Tuesday in downtown Birmingham.

People attending the meeting found out about two bills making their way through the state legislature that would impose criminal and civil penalties for people caught going exhibition driving. The penalties also include impounding vehicles for up to 30 days depending on the level of offense along with fines. People could also face possible jail time.

Some residents say the legislation is long overdue.

“My neighborhood is tired of it happening. We hear it. We see it and I just commend you all for trying to do something about it,” one resident said.

State Representative Juandalynn Givan says its past time to act on this dangerous driving trend.

“It’s a health hazard. You’re putting not only your life at risk but the life and harm that could come to other innocent citizens and bystanders and it just can no longer be tolerated. Also, we’re simply saying you got to stop it,” Givan said.

Some residents feel there needs to be more teeth and technology in the legislation.

“Are we going to make the penalties high enough? Because if you just treat it like a traffic ticket, they going to pay that and be back in their vehicle racing again,” another resident said.

Jefferson County Sheriff Mark Pettway says if the legislation passes, deputies will be out in full force to keep the community safe.

“We have seen the destruction that it brings, tears up the streets, wakes up the community and it has hurt innocent people so we want to see them bring it to an end,” Pettway said.

Givan says lawmakers could add more things to the bills as they make their way through the legislature.

Organizers are hoping to hold more town halls on exhibition driving soon.

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