Newly signed exhibition driving law will allow police to hold participants more accountable

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 12:17 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Jefferson County leaders are now charging two men in a 2022 exhibition driving crash on John Rogers Road that left multiple people injured, including a 5-year-old boy.

Both men are being charged with multiple felony assaults, police saying the cars they were driving are deadly weapons.

But, with the new exhibition driving bill recently signed into law on May 12, officials said this is just the start of charges they hope to see when it comes to illegal exhibition driving.

The new law doesn’t go into effect for about three months and since the incident happened last year, police are only able to charge with multiple counts of felony assault right now. They’ll be able to add additional charges next time this happens under the new law.

House Rep. Allen Treadaway sponsored House Bill 29, before it became law. Treadaway said the felony assault charges for causing injury would not change under the new law, so the two charges in the 2022 case would have likely been the same or similar. But, Treadaway said once the new law is in effect, police will be able to revoke a license for exhibition driving, seize a vehicle, and give jailtime.

Right now, if you’re caught exhibition driving, you can get a reckless driving ticket, if you don’t hurt anyone. But, under the new law, you will be arrested.

If a driver injures or kills another while participating in exhibition driving, they would face felony charges.

City leaders said it gives police more opportunities to hold exhibition driving participants accountable.

“My hope and my charge to our district attorney is continue charging every single person that you can that is associated with exhibition driving or illegal street racing,” Birmingham City Councilor Hunter Williams said. “We should not have any more people, like the grandmother returning home from the grocery store, being mowed over, because someone decided in a very idiotic way, to street race on a crowded street.”

Under the new law, hitting or destroying property while exhibition driving is now also a felony charge.

Read more about it by clicking here.

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