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Aurora City Council looks to deter illegal street racers with new ordinance

Cars could be impounded for up to one year
Aurora street racing
Posted at 8:13 AM, Jul 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-27 00:21:04-04

AURORA, Colo. — Constant images of organized street racing is driving the city of Aurora to say, "Enough."

"We’re not going to accept this type of behavior," said Aurora At-Large Councilmember Curtis Gardner.

Prior to the council meeting Monday night, councilmembers said passing the ordinance would serve as a deterrent to illegal street racers.

"Coming from a public safety perspective, what this does is it really goes after the vehicle and the vehicle owner to deter this behavior so there is due process involved but basically we would have the tool to impound the vehicle under a temporary restraining order," said Aurora Ward 6 Councilwoman Franciose Bergman.

For example, if police arrive to a scene and spot a large crowd of street racers, instead of pursuing them, they’ll simply pull their license plates, and the owner of the car will receive a letter from the court.

At that point, the owner is required to meet with the court.

If they’re caught racing again, their car could be impounded for up to one year.

"It both keeps our community safe and also protects civil liberties," Gardner said.

A few months ago, Councilman Gardner had doubts about the ordinance but now his position has changed.

"After going through the process, hearing from police department, hearing from our courts, I felt very comfortable that this wasn’t just simply seizing a vehicle but really giving our residents an opportunity to correct their behavior before we got to that point," Gardner said.

One former street racer who didn’t want to be identified said even if police officers start pulling license plates, it won’t make a difference.

"Nobody that is actually there to race is running a license plate. Everybody has fake Texas license plates or Colorado plates. A lot of people will go to junkyards and they’ll just take old people’s plates off of their cars," said the former street racer.

But councilmembers believe this ordinance will keep Aurora safer. After one year, they will have the chance to review the ordinance and make any necessary changes.

City councilmembers said this ordinance has no impact on the way police handle regular speeding enforcement — it’s meant to tackle only organized street racing.

During Monday night's meeting, the Aurora City Council unanimously voted to pass the ordinance.