JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office continues to crack down on a dangerous trend — reckless driving and street racing.
On Wednesday, the department announced another round of arrests from an operation over the weekend.
Assistant Chief Jaime Eason with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said after a lull in the city’s street racing activity — the trend recently drove back to full speed.
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“So, we decided to do our deployments again — we had been watching them the entire time,” Asst. Chief Jaime Eason with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.
Those deployments netted five new arrests – with one more pending – in addition to the more than 30 already picked up in previous operations.
An 18-year-old man was one of those arrested. His car was spotted at a gas station on Saturday by an off-duty officer and it was matched to street racing activity. Police tried to arrest the 18-year-old, but he sped away. Before long, JSO had to call off the pursuit for safety reasons – but at 1 a.m. the next morning – police went to his listed address, found the car parked in the driveway, and arrested the teen on multiple charges.
Eason has led the charge against Jacksonville’s street racers.
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“When you do this illegal activity, we’re going to continue to watch you, we’re going to continue to show up and we’re going to continue to arrest you, take your cars, and write citations until this stops because this is very dangerous,” Eason said.
She said the agency may soon have more power to clamp down on the spread of this trend.
New language in proposed state law would penalize anyone who posts a video of a street racing incident online to promote the activity – even if that person wasn’t at the event themselves.
Spectators at the events could also get a ticket – just for being there.
A representative of the First Amendment Foundation told News4JAX that the organization is concerned that the proposed law impacting social media is not specific enough for citizens to clearly know how to follow it.
News4JAX reached out to the bill’s sponsor to ask if he’s at all concerned that – if passed – that bill would be challenged under the first amendment. As of this publication, News4JAX has not received a response.