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Fife, Tacoma look for ways to crack down on street racing

Measures to prevent street racing are on two city council agendas Tuesday in Pierce County.

The city of Fife is considering a proposal that would impound a street racer’s car. If someone is caught street racing and then arrested again for violating a judge’s order, the judge could impound that person’s car for 15 days. Another offense could mean 30 days.

Fife City Manager Hyun Kim says that safety is a primary concern.

“When tragedy befalls, who will be left to take care of those victims?” Kim said. “Sadly, it will be the community that will have to pick up the pieces. Or, sadly, the victims will be left without any recourse.”

In November in Auburn, two women who were watching street races were struck and killed.

Meanwhile, in Tacoma, the City Council is considering a new law that would prohibit drifting, squealing tires, rapid swerving or weaving on city streets. Participating in these activities would be a misdemeanor.

This comes in response to a January incident when street racers took over a downtown intersection. Tacoma Police officer Khanh Phan responded to that scene and drove his patrol vehicle through a crowd, injuring two people.

Phan is on paid leave while the incident is being investigated by the Pierce County Force Investigation Team.

The Fife City Council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday, and the Tacoma City Council meets at 5 p.m.

Law enforcement fills a Tacoma intersection on Jan. 23 after a police officer responding to reports of street racing drove through a crowd. The burned rubber from the illegal racing and burnouts marks the pavement at Ninth Street and Pacific Avenue.
Credit Ted S. Warren / The Associated Press
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The Associated Press
Law enforcement fills a Tacoma intersection on Jan. 23 after a police officer responding to reports of street racing drove through a crowd. The burned rubber from the illegal racing and burnouts marks the pavement at Ninth Street and Pacific Avenue.

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