COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- It's a growing problem in Colorado Springs, but the city hopes a new ordinance will help stop dangerous street racing.
The public nuisance ordinance was approved by City Council and went into effect on April 3rd. Vehicles used in street racing or other crimes can be seized by police if approved by a judge. The vehicle would be impounded for at least 30 days and up to a year, with the owner having to pay the impound fee to get it back.
“If your vehicle is down there for six months it could cost a lot of money,” says Scott Mathis a Crime Prevention Officer with the Colorado Springs Police Department. He says in Denver that costs usually get so high the owner will just relinquish the car.
The ordinance allows officers to take down the information of a vehicle suspected of street racing and other crimes and report that information to the City Attorney's Office. The City Attorney would then decide whether or not to pursue the case. If they do, they would then send the owner a cease and desist letter.
“They then have to contact the City Attorney’s Office and work with the City Attorney’s Office to make sure that doesn’t happen again,” Mathis said.
If the owner doesn't contact the City within 21 days or both cannot come to an agreement, that is when the case would go before a judge to decide if they want to issue a restraining order to go after the vehicle and seize it.
Mathis says the goal of this ordinance is to not punish these car owners but to simply get them to stop this dangerous behavior.
“We would love to never have a judge sign a restraining order and go after the vehicle at all," Mathis says. "If we get the vehicles to stop our job is done that’s all we’re asking for.”
At this time no vehicles have been seized since the department is still working on forms of how this process will work. Mathis believes they will start this enforcement within a month.