Alderwoman Chantia Lewis
Today, the Common Council unanimously passed an ordinance targeting spectators at illegal race contests or exhibitions of speed. The intent of the legislation (file #180224) is to prevent illegal street racing and spectating of these illegal events, according to lead sponsor Alderwoman Chantia Lewis.
“Crowds gathering to watch street racing not only condone that dangerous activity, it encourages it,” said Ald. Lewis. “So I am very pleased the council joined me in this step to discourage spectating, which hopefully will discourage illegal racing.”
Alderwoman Lewis said the issue is a concern in her district, known for its large, open roadways that are appealing to drag racers, and has surfaced in other parts of the city.
The resolution defines spectator as “any person who is present at a racing event for viewing, observing, watching or witnessing the event as it progresses.” Alderwoman Lewis said the resolution would not apply to someone who witnesses an event unintentionally or is coincidentally in the area of the race.
The measure also prohibits the spectating of race preparation. Preparation includes arriving with a group at a predetermined location, impeding the free use of a roadway verbally or physically, as well as revving up and spinning tires prior to a race. Under the resolution, spectating fines will range from $20 to $400, together with the costs of prosecution.
The measure had been unanimously recommended for approval by the Public Safety and Health Committee on May 17.