Police claim drag racing is declining amid new rules, penalties

The Baton Rouge Police Department claims drag racing in the city is declining amid new rules and penalties.
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 10:56 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Drag racing has become a big issue in Baton Rouge over the past few years, but police say the problem is starting to decline.

At Wednesday’s Metro Council Meeting, Deputy Chief Troy Lawrence, Sr. told the public that a revised ordinance and tougher penalties for both drivers and spectators has helped BRPD police the problem.

“Last year, we had probably every other weekend, we had a racing event within our town,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence credited higher fines and the ability to impound cars as a big contributing factor to the trend reversing.

According to Lawrence, first time offenders could face a $1000 fine, and have their car impounded for at least 15 days.

“This year alone, so far, we’ve had a slow start, thank God. I think it’s because of that 15-day hold. That was the primary addition to the city ordinance that was added last year. Those guys don’t want to go without their cars for 15 days,” said Lawrence.

In 2023, BRPD has made three felony arrests, seven misdemeanor arrests, and impounded 35 cars. 29 drivers were cited, and 16 people were given a ticket for simply being a spectator, according to Lawrence.

“I was kind of hoping for a higher number, but every number counts. That’s one less person off the street,” said Councilwoman Denise Amoroso.

Despite the progress, Lawrence said the work is not over.

“Certain areas within our city you will still see some drag races running around town, but for the most part, we’ve mitigated most of it, but we still have that same task force ready and dedicated to respond,” said Lawrence.

Lawrence said BRPD also reached an agreement with the Sheriff’s Office to book people in parish prison who are arrested for misdemeanor drag racing.

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