NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) — Loud engines. Roaring mufflers. Screeching brakes. The sounds of drag racing that some south Nashville residents say they’re hearing way too often in their neighborhoods.
It’s a public safety issue that Commander Keith Stephens, who oversees Metro’s South precinct, says his guys are focused on stopping.
“They will literally close the whole roadway down and do donuts in the roadway,” said Stephens about the street racers, “We can’t let someone drive 90 miles per hour on Old Hickory Boulevard in a 45.”
For the last three weekends, a team of Metro police has been monitoring social media and patrolling areas where these street racers are meeting up. They’ve even used helicopters to help make reckless driving arrests.
“The aviation unit allows us to back off. It’s safer for everybody. They follow them to where they stop. Then we move back in and take them into custody,” said Stephens.
On Saturday, Metro police made 11 vehicle stops as part of a “street racer initiative.”
They handed out seven traffic violations, arrested four people, and cited another with misdemeanor drag racing. Commander Stephens says often times it’s more than just fast driving.
“Turned out the subject was armed with a handgun illegally. So when you think it’s just street racing, it’s actually a lot more,” said Stephens in regards to a Saturday night arrest.
Stephens wants to remind the Nashville community of how serious speeding is. Remember that if you hurt someone else while you’re behind the wheel the charges increase to more than just a speeding ticket.
“If they’re doing 100 miles per hour and an innocent kid runs out in the street, they could be charged with vehicular homicide,” said Stephens.
Metro councilwoman Joy Styles introduced a bill last night that would allow the city to utilize license plate scanners specifically to identify those who are drag racing.