Deal made on drag racing bill | NevadaAppeal.com

Deal made on drag racing bill

A conference committee has reached a deal on the bill that would criminalize drag racing.

Senators objected to the language in SB43 inserted in the Assembly, which mandated those convicted of drag racing have their car impounded for 15 days. Maggie Carlton, D-Las Vegas, that “could become confiscation” for someone without the money to get the car out of the impound lot.

But Assemblyman Kelvin Atkinson, D-Las Vegas, said the provision is designed to get the message through to those involved in organized drag or street racing events.

Sen. Dennis Nolan, R-Las Vegas, suggested a compromise: Give the judge handling the case the power to decide whether a vehicle would be impounded and for how long.

With Carlton dissenting, the conference committee agreed.

The bill increases the minimum penalty for drag racing offenses to $250 and a minimum of 13 hours community service as well as suspending the driver’s license for a period of not less than six months.

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For a second offense, the impound would be a full 30 days.

And the person convicted of organizing an unauthorized speed event on public roads would be guilty of the same crime.

Southern Nevada authorities have complained they are having to deal with more and more organized speed racing events on city streets, usually at night. They say drag racing is extremely dangerous not only for those involved but others using the streets.

The bill goes back to the Senate and Assembly floors for concurrence on the amendment.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.

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