Lawmaker hopes to increase penalties for extreme speeders, street racers

Dec 29, 2021, 7:22 PM | Updated: 7:24 pm
FILE: Image of the Utah Capitol. Lawmakers could consider a bill in 2022 that would crack down on extreme speeders and those who allow the races to happen. Photo credit: Paul Nelson

SALT LAKE CITY – Public safety officials have pleaded with Utahns to slow down after seeing a rise in the number of citations for extreme speeders, or drivers going over 100 miles per hour.  One Utah lawmaker is hoping her bill would convince drivers to ease up on the gas pedal by increasing the penalties for street racers.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, troopers with the Utah Highway Patrol saw a dramatic rise in the number of drivers crossing triple digits.  By early December, troopers had given roughly 4,500 tickets for extreme speeds. That’s nearly 1,000 more than the same types of tickets issued in 2019. In 2020, troopers pulled over more than 5,100 drivers going over 100.

“One hundred miles per hour is a speed that, really, if people are in a collision, they can’t survive,” said District Four Senator Jani Iwamoto.

Iwamoto says she has been speaking with UHP Colonel Michael Rapich about this kind of legislation for years. Now, with the rise in extreme speeders, she believes this is the best time to present her bill.

“That was where we got the 100 miles per hour [threshold]. And he’s clocking those all the time,” she says.

If SB 53 passes, anyone caught driving over 100 mph would be charged with reckless driving, which is a class B misdemeanor.  A driver would also face reckless driving charges if they travel more than 25 mph over the posted limit.

Increasing penalties for street racing

The bill also proposes to crack down on street racers and the people who assist them.  Iwamoto said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown has reported a dramatic rise in illegal street racing.

“I didn’t realize the extent of these [races] and that they’re these big, huge events,” said Iwamoto.

If the bill passes, drivers in these races would face a class A misdemeanor. If their car isn’t street legal, it will be seized. 

Iwamoto said the high speeds reached by these drivers aren’t the only things that make these events dangerous.

“On top of that, when people are racing, other things are going on like drugs and all kinds of other things,” she said.

If SB 53 is approved, people would face class B misdemeanor charges if they block traffic for these races or if they intentionally watch as a spectator.

Other stories related to this topic:



Today’s Top Stories


Almost half a million dollars of drugs seized....
Waverly Golden

More than $430K in drugs found stuffed in car speaker in St. George

Washington City Police seized almost half a million dollars in drugs from a man driving through St George. The drugs were packed into a speaker box.
17 hours ago
Woman scams people out of $50,000 in tax returns....
Aimee Cobabe and Waverly Golden

Kaysville woman scams friends and family of tax refunds

A woman in Kaysville scammed 13 people and claimed a portion of their tax refunds. She is currently in jail facing multiple charges.
17 hours ago
buffalo shooter...
Becky Bruce and Mark Jones

Former U.S. Attorney says shootings such as the one in Buffalo are hard to predict

Shootings such as the one in Buffalo are hard to predict, says John Huber, former U.S. District Attorney for the District of Utah.
2 days ago
SLCPD police car. Its SWAT team responded to a situation today....
Samantha Herrera

Man found dead from self-inflicted wound following SWAT situation

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Police Department’s SWAT Team discovered a suspect dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a reported sexual assault. The area surrounding a Salt Lake home was locked down by the SLCPD for a period on Monday afternoon as the SWAT team investigated. There is a large police […]
2 days ago
Shane Stant, the man who attacked Nancy Kerrigan...
Heather Kelly

A notorious ice skating hitman finds redemption through his sister’s eyes

In 1994, hitman Shane Stant hit U.S. Figure Skating Champion Nancy Kerrigan in her knee to prevent her from competing a championship/
2 days ago
exposure notification apps...
Devin Oldroyd

iPhone sale gone wrong results in the arrest of a Salt Lake City man

A South Salt Lake City police officer broke up a physical altercation between two men that resulted from an iphone sale gone bad.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Lawmaker hopes to increase penalties for extreme speeders, street racers