KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A rash of illegal street racing and sideshows have exploded in parts of Kansas City. Noise, property damage and some violence have come with it.
The Kansas City Police Department said it’s starting to see more street racing in the downtown area. Now, the city is taking steps to stop it.
“It happens every Sunday at 10 o’clock right here in this area,” one downtown KC resident said. “I’ve heard it happens in different areas, too. It’s extremely loud, and it happens every Sunday.”
This resident, who asked not to be named due to safety concerns, is fed up with the illegal street racing.
“They go up and down the wrong ways on the streets, and they sit here, they sit here in their cars and wait in line for their turn to do burnouts in the center,” she said.
She said it’s happening too often near large crowds downtown.
“There’s a lot of families and people who walk around in this area all the time that don’t know this is going to happen,” she said. “I was just waiting while I was watching it for somebody to get hurt. It looked very dangerous.”
On Wednesday morning, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said the city is working on legislation that will let officers penalize people organizing or participating in these illegal street races.
“These penalties there would include impoundment,” Lucas said. “certain penalties as to the vehicles themselves, not so much trying to track down the persons, but the cars and others that are involved in those types of behaviors.”
Within the last few months, there have been numerous deaths related to the illegal events.
“Whenever you get that many people in a small, confined area, there is the incidence for retaliation based on a previous incident that may have happened around the city,” KCPD Deputy Chief Karl Oakman said.
Oakman said officers have started beating the racers to their hangout spot, and it works. He said the department and city are working on long-term solutions to ensure they can prevent that type of activity.