Senate Bill 1472, known as Ryan’s Law, will charge drivers involved in fatal street takeovers, races with crimes
Street takeovers in Southern California have become a big problem for law enforcement this year alone. And unfortunately, some have led to fatal accidents. A new law will attack drivers, accusing them of crimes, according to its author.
Senate Bill 1472 will give judges and district attorneys the power to charge drivers involved in street takeovers, races and side shows with manslaughter if their action results in someone’s death. ‘a.
Sen. Henry Stern (D – Thousand Oaks), the author of the law, said it “will finally force prosecutors across the state of California to enforce our laws in cases of manslaughter incidents with vehicles and reckless driving. Whether it’s street racing, side shows or even extreme speeding.”
“These events aren’t just casual traffic violations. When they take someone’s life, that’s murder. The law now says that,” Stern said.
The new law, which will take effect on January 1, will be known as Ryan’s Law. He is named after Ryan Koeppel, who was just 16 when he was killed by a reckless driver in August 2020. His parents are relieved that this new law provides tougher penalties for reckless drivers who cause death from someone.
“Today I feel like we’re getting justice for him so his legacy lives on in this bill by making sure future drivers who kill someone don’t just walk away with a slap on the wrist. There have to be more consequences when you break the law and kill someone,” said Carin Koeppel, Ryan’s mother.
Law enforcement refers to cars as weapons when drivers show off during street takeovers or races. The new law will pay to put more officers on the streets to pursue these drivers.
LAPD Lt. Matt Bielski said the bill “enhances our ability to continue to come out and enforce street racing laws so we can reduce the number of street takeovers and street races in the city of LA”.
LAPD says its street racing task force has already handed out more than 800 tickets, seized dozens of cars and made dozens of arrests.
Stern says there’s about $100 million in the state budget earmarked for putting more law enforcement on the streets and paying overtime. He says about $6 million of that will come to Southern California.
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