PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Law enforcement used a new Portland code to issue citations, tow eight cars and arrest over a dozen people for street racing Sunday night, officials said.
Portland police officers, Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputies and Oregon State Police worked on the “speed racing mission” in North Portland, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
It’s the first time the city is enforcing the new city code, enacted via emergency ordinance 10 days ago, to make “street racing” or “sliding” misdemeanor offenses. The offenses have been labeled as “Unlawful Street Takeover” and “Unlawful Staging of a Street Takeover Event.”
Police said they also recovered two firearms.
Street and bridge takeovers have been an years-long issue in Portland.
In April, a motorcyclist died in a crash with a car on North Marine Drive. Investigators believe both drivers were involved in illegal speed racing. Authorities said approximately 350 people were in the area at the time.
The new ordinance provides the bureau with “additional enforcement tools,” creates educational offerings and public outreach to bring awareness to the dangers of street racing and imposes tougher penalties for those arrested and convicted for multiple violations. A citation for an unlawful street takeover can warrant a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a fine up to $500.
The mayor’s office drafted the ordinance after a coalition of prominent businesses in North Portland complained.