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Car seizures for street racing expected to start next month

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.

Chase Golightly

Chase is a reporter and an anchor for our weekend evening newscasts. Learn more about Chase here.

Comments

7 Comments

  1. How about we make street racing legal! We can charge an extra tax at the DMV for special “Street Racing ” plates and all revenue can go to schools and roads!

  2. This problem has been around for over 30 years, and nothing much has been done about it until now. Any action is long overdue.

  3. This will still not stop or lessen this problem because the city, like usual, doesn’t plan or prepare worth a darn. When this topic first came to light the main obstacle was lack impound space. The city has no space to enforce the already active Colorado Springs city ordinances that currently require a vehicle to be impounded. The city has not added additional impound lots. Yet the city has still gone forward with this as a solution when they never addressed the main problem with the ordinance. The threat and the cost may be a deterrent for a while, but once everyone sees that it is yet again another useless ordinance, like the west of I-25 Bear-proof trashcan ordinance was, it will be ignored mainly because they cannot store the vehicle(s) in full impound lots. When you keep writing ordinances that have no weight but only work by causing fear itself, the ordinances lose their meanings and ability to be used as they are intended. What will happen when these people call the cities bluff like they did in the video that was shown on here from the Citadel Mall. You gonna impound their vehicles? Where? Sadly, at the root of this ordinance, it is just another government cash grab, robbing from the people and giving to the city government.

  4. The city has now passed the problem to the county as street racer’s will simply move outside of Colorado Springs city limits to race.

  5. The CSPD, by policy, does not pursue vehicles that do not pullover and stop. Those drag racers will just speed off and the drive not identified so how will this law be enforced?

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