This week, both chambers of the state Legislature passed legislation to outlaw exhibition driving.
Intentionally creating tire skids, doing donuts and burnouts, and street racing are all slated to become illegal in Alabama, pending Gov. Ivey’s signature on the bills.
Exhibition driving has become a cause for concern in Alabama cities, as it poses a hazard to even those not participating. Nine people were injured in Birmingham in December when two vehicles doing burnouts collided.
“Law enforcement is going to have the tools to deal with this issue on a much more serious level,” Rep. Allen Treadaway (R-Morris) said. “We are going to be able to give folks jail time for this type of behavior, and I promise you, whether it stops or not, you will see this type of activity shrink tremendously.”
The bill imposes criminal penalties for exhibition driving, with a first violation resulting in a Class C misdemeanor and a second or subsequent violation resulting in a Class B misdemeanor along with a loss of driving privileges.
If the offender causes bodily injury or property damage, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor. If the act results in serious physical injury to someone else, it is a Class C felony, and, if the offense causes death, it becomes a felony.
Treadaway, the bill’s sponsor, is a former Birmingham assistant police chief.
“I believe, after 31 years in law enforcement, once you start taking someone’s freedom away, you start taking their vehicle away, they’re at least going to think twice before they get out there and put that car into that type of activity that puts lives in danger,” he said.
Grayson Everett is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @Grayson270 for coverage of the 2023 legislative session.