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Dallas police issue 600 spectator citations to combat ongoing street racing problem

A deputy chief said street racing in Dallas thrives on the attendance of spectators from across the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Credit: Dallas Police Department
Dallas Police Department captures street racing footage on its Air 1 helicopter.

Dallas police have issued more than 600 citations to spectators who have flocked to street races in the city. 

"Illegal street races, people driving recklessly, not only is it a problem here in Dallas, it’s a nationwide issue," Deputy Chief Jesse Reyes said Wednesday at a Dallas City Council meeting. 

He said street racing thrives because of the people who come to Dallas from throughout the area to watch.

A couple of months ago, Dallas police added "additional manpower" to crackdown on speeding and street racing downtown. 

Police officials also showed a video captured on their helicopter of a street racing incident that occurred last month. 

The Air 1 video footage captured a handful of cars surrounding a vehicle as it spun in circles.

Over the summer, a street racing ordinance was passed that made it an offense to be a spectator at "takeover events."

The police department said the street racing has resulted in several officers being assaulted during the incidents. On multiple occasions, officials said police have had items such as fireworks and bottles thrown at them. 

Credit: Dallas Police Department
Street racing enforcement results from Dallas police.

Dallas City Council member David Blewett said he's been out with the street racing task force to see how they work when out in the field. 

"I think based on the activity I'm seeing that the racers are back and I'm frustrated with the tools that we have," he said. 

RELATED: Crowds ignore COVID-19 restrictions to watch illegal street racing show in Dallas

During public comment at the Dallas City Council meeting, one woman shared the impact street racing has had in her Dallas neighborhood. 

She said the street racing and speeding has resulted in two fatalities over the years. 

Dallas police said in a continuous effort to crackdown on street racing, the department is holding monthly dialogue sessions with other large urban cities experiencing similar issues. 

In Reyes' presentation, he included the proposed legislative assistance the department is asking for.

Credit: City of Dallas
Proposed State Legislative Assistance.

"Beyond the quality of life disruptions, it causes property damage, injuries, and death," Reyes said.

Just last month, a Fort Worth couple was returning home from a date when they were struck by a vehicle that was racing another vehicle at high speeds.

The couple left behind their four children.  

RELATED: Police: Street racers struck, killed Fort Worth couple