License plate readers considered to stop Nashville street racing

Crime Tracker

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Police conducted another sting of street racing stops this weekend in southeast Nashville.

Four people were arrested and 13 drivers were cited for drag racing near Nolensville Pike, according to police. Councilwoman Courtney Johnston said the dangerously high speeds are causing fear in her district.

“It’s almost every night at this point, it’s really not even Friday and Saturday nights anymore,” said Johnston.

Johnston has heard reports of hundreds gathering together to race, coming from all areas and from every demographic.

“For whatever reason Nashville’s a destination for this drag racing,” said Johnston, “There’s multiple groups that are doing this and they’re all highly coordinated and they’re pretty sophisticated.”

Metro Police and Tennessee Highway Patrol have worked for weeks to track those drivers. But Johnston hopes that city legislation could also aid the crackdown.

A proposed Metro Council bill will look to install license plate readers in southeast Nashville, similar to what Mt. Juliet Police currently uses. The technology, combined with legislation, will allow police to charge anyone caught going more than 70 miles per hour on the LPRs with reckless driving.

But Johnston does not agree with how the bill is currently written because of how it plans to track drivers.

“The problem with that is LPR technology has no way of gauging speed. All it does is take snapshots of your license plate,” said Johnston.

A meeting on Monday afternoon is planned to allow councilmembers the opportunity to ask questions regarding their concerns to subject-matter experts. Johnston is hopeful after that meeting the proposed bill can be updated to move forward.

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