Donuts, drag racing & drifting: Ordinance aims to put the brakes on car stunts

CHICAGO — Following a widely-shared video from the weekend that shows vehicles doing donuts in the West Loop, the city is attempting to crack down on drag racing by impounding vehicles they believe are involved.

Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Committee greenlit the ordinance Monday. Spearheaded by Ald. Brendan Reily (42 Ward), the resolution passed unanimously.

“We worked with Reilly to make sure we had one in compliance with city laws and gave the police department an opportunity to shut these things down,” said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

The mayor also referenced the previous problems with car drifting on Lower Wacker and how the occurrence has long been an issue for Chicago.

“One of those cars goes out of control, a whole crowd can be taken out,” Lightfoot said.

Early Sunday morning, at the intersection of South Clinton and West Monroe, an area resident says the noise awoke her.   

“It was really scary,” said a woman who did not wish to be identified by WGN News. “I didn’t know if it was a shooter. (I) didn’t know what happened. It was scary.”

Arriving officers managed to disperse the large crowd gathering, only for things to later rev up about a mile away in the 1100 block of S. Canal St.

There, police responded to reports of drag racing and launched fireworks from a parking garage. According to police, a firework struck and injured an officer. Authorities arrested a 17-year-old. He faces one felony count of aggravated assault of a police officer.

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Two weeks ago, on July 2, a similar scene occurred in Portage Park. A police officer was taken to the hospital for minor injuries when a crowd attacked a squad car.

The unruly crowd and overnight disturbances have some residents considering a change of scenery.

“It’s getting crazy around here,” the woman said. “I’m looking to move soon.”

The ordinance will go before a full City Council vote on Wednesday.