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Drag racing set to become a felony in Tennessee

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(The Center Square) – The Tennessee Legislature passed a bill making drag racing or organized street racing a Class E felony instead of a misdemeanor.

The bill will next head to Gov. Bill Lee for his approval.

The fiscal note on House Bill 2814 says it will cost the state more than $130,000 in additional costs of incarceration.

“I’ve been in front of y’all many times on this topic of reckless driving and drag racing,” said Rep. John Gillespie, R-Memphis. “It’s unfortunately still something that plaguing our communities, both urban and rural.”

The fiscal note says there have been an average of 11.3 misdemeanor convictions of drag racing in each of the last five years and the average time served for a Class E felony is 0.60 years.

Senate sponsor Brent Taylor, R-Memphis, also recently a bill aimed at preventing people from blocking Tennessee roadways pass and head to Lee.

Senate Bill 2570 allows for lawsuits to be filed if a person or company suffers a loss because a “defendant intentionally obstructed a highway, street, or other place used for the passage of vehicles or conveyances.”