BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore City Council on Monday approved stricter penalties for drivers and car clubs that race in the streets.
The bill now goes to Mayor Brandon Scott.
If approved, the legislation would implement penalties of up to 12 months imprisonment and fines reaching $1,000 for drivers and car clubs that obstruct public streets for races, burnouts and other forms of reckless driving.
Councilman Isaac "Yitzy" Schleifer, who introduced the bill, said it would make Baltimore's regulations against street racing the strictest in the state.
"It's happening in all corners of the city and it's happening every single week," he said.
He said the law also targets car passengers and onlookers involved in street races.
The city's firefighter's union called street racing a threat to public safety, causing delays for their fire and EMS units trying to get to emergency calls or take patients to the hospital.
"Ambulances are trying to get to Sinai Hospital and the intersection's blocked by this reckless behavior," said Schleifer.
Over the weekend, drag racers shut down an intersection on Pratt Street.
In July, police responded to a street race on Boston Street in Canton.
Fraternal Order of Police president Mike Mancuso estimated between 200-300 cars were there.
"Police officers responding to the scene were hit with bottles, rocks, and one Sergeant took two direct hits to the eye from a laser beam..." he said.
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