New KC proposal would allow police to impound vehicles involved in illegal sideshows

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An amendment to current Kansas City law would allow for stricter penalties for people who participate in illegal street racing and sideshows.

Mayor Quinton Lucas introduced an ordinance that would allow police to impound vehicles involved in sideshows. 

“We’ve had homicides because of these issues. We’ve had accidents. We’ve had people injured and people killed,” Lucas said. “That’s why we’re looking to step up.” 

The ordinance would impose fines on spectators and drivers. Drivers could get a fine ranging from $100-500 and up to six months in jail. Spectators could be fined up to $100.  

“If you’re involved in this sort of activity, and you shut down streets, and you have warnings from the police, and you continue on it, you don’t expect to take your car home at night,” Lucas said. “I mean, that’s the sort of thing that we’re switching and transitioning to.” 

The proposed amendment would allow police to tow cars involved in the shows. Attorney Phil LeVota said this would be legal. 

“It’s actually saying that they’re impounding for evidence, so they say the owner will get it back, but they can take it for evidence,” LeVota said. “I don’t think there’s any constitutionality issues with it. I think that the city council gets to pass city laws, and they found the community don’t doesn’t like this, and that’s been a safety hazard out there so that gets more teeth into it.” 

Lucas said this is a necessary step to address a growing issue. 

“This would allow appeals if somebody needs to make sure they can get to work,” he said. 

Lucas sees the ordinance as one piece of the solution. 

“But you also have a prevention side. You also have an intervention side more than just enforcement. This is one step of it. But I expect us to do a lot more work to make sure people have things to do. However, there’s a balance, right?” Lucas said. 

City Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure and Operations Committee meets Wednesday at 9 a.m. If members of the committee vote in favor of the ordinance, it will move on to full council for a vote.

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