ATLANTA, Ga (CW69 News at 10) – The issue of street racing touches too close to home for Bobbie Sanford, whose daughter-in-law Jaye Mia Sanford, 52, was killed in an alleged street racing accident in DeKalb County in November.
“A person who contributed to the community, who had a family they loved and a family that loved them, was no longer with us,” said Sanford.
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Jaye Mia Sanford left behind a 16-year-old husband, son and daughter who were injured in the crash. “It was so surreal that I thought, ‘Something has to be done,’” said Bobbie Sanford.
“Our streets, highways and parking lots have become a fast lane for criminals,” Governor Brian Kemp said at a state capitol press conference on February 19, 2021. Bobbie Sanford was there when Kemp introduced anti-street racing legislation called House Bill 534. “One of the key issues we knew we had to work on was reckless street racing and stunt driving,” Kemp said.
Current laws prohibit drag racing on public roads and the laying of dredges, which involves unnecessary zigzagging and turning. The bill adds the organization of reckless drag races and stunts to the list of offenses.
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Members of the police support the bill. “When these large groups come together, it is a danger to the people involved, it is a danger to the communities in which they are found,” said Lt. Col. Stephanie Stallings.
“They’re the ones who are responsible for enforcing the law, and so what they brought us was a solution,” said state representative Josh Bonner (R-Dist. 72), referring to the law application. Bonner sponsors HB 534 along with several other lawmakers.
Several cities, including Atlanta, Sandy Springs and Chamblee, recently made changes to toughen street racing ordinances. “It gives us hope and a feeling that other families will hopefully not have to endure the kind of pain and devastation we have had to endure,” said Sanford. “It won’t bring my daughter-in-law back, but it gives us hope.
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Street racing advocates have said they are working to find a safe place for drivers to participate in drag racing activities.