Florida seeks to make street takeovers, car stunts illegal

Street takeovers to perform car stunts like doughnuts, drifting and burnouts would be illegal in Florida under a bill unanimously approved by a Senate committee Wednesday.

Street takeovers have become an almost nightly event in Miami and other Florida cities and have caused numerous injuries and deaths, said Democratic Sen. Jason Pizzo, the bill’s sponsor.

Pizzo showed members of the state Senate Transportation Committee videos of cars doing doughnuts during a street takeover — tires screeching and smoking as drivers went in circles with passengers hanging out the windows and spectators trying to touch the cars.

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The last scene showed a woman’s head lying in the street.

"That’s a mother of four who was decapitated," Pizzo said as one of the committee members gasped. "They were leaning outside the car, and these cars go astray."

Street takeovers often involve hundreds of spectators. Cars block access to an intersection, stopping traffic in all directions and making it harder for police to respond. It’s become a widespread problem around the country, including cities in Texas and California.

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