Jackson City Council wants to toughen laws against drifting, drag racing on city streets

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JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The City of Jackson is working on tougher penalties to stop drivers from drag racing and reckless driving on streets while putting people in harm’s way.

Under the Charles’ “Chuck” Griffin Jr. ordinance, people may have to pay or get their car towed away for racing in the city.

Charles Griffin recalled the moment his son, Chuck, was killed the day before his birthday in 2005 after being struck by a drag racer while talking to a friend outside a home on Dorgan Street.

“A car came from nowhere hit the side of the road went airborne and killed my son standing in the front door. My son never saw what was coming,” he said.

The ordinance was introduced by the Jackson City Council on Tuesday. Councilmembers said it’s necessary to keep more families from dealing with the pain.

Councilman Kenneth Stokes said, “It hurts that you think about Christmas and your baby, your child is not there. His birthday comes around, and he’s not there because of something senseless.”

Under the ordinance, drag racing, drifting, or reckless driving could cost someone 10 to 30 days in jail or $250 for the first offense. If the committed a second offense, it could cost them up to $2,500 or 90 days in jail or the car will be towed.

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba supports even tougher rules like towing the car the first time.

“If the offense is egregious enough the first time, then I’d be in support of taking it the first time. The second time someone may lose their life,” the mayor said.

The ordinance is not final at this time. The council will take the ordinance to a Law Enforcement AD-HOC committee meeting to further discuss penalties.

“We’ve all discussed the need and the importance of stiffening penalties. As a matter of fact, Chief Davis also requested that we increase the penalty of our ordinance to give him something to enforce,” said Lumumba.

Griffin said he is appreciative because the city created this ordinance and is serious about protecting the people of Jackson.

Councilman Banks said the council will work quickly so it can be adopted at the next council meeting.

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