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Government wants to put brakes on street racers

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Manitoba will impose greater penalties for street racers.

Justice Minister Andrew Swan today introduced Bill 23, the Highway Traffic Amendment Act.

The new bill would increase the impoundment period for vehicles used in street racing to seven days from 48 hours.

Police officers would also be given the power to immediately suspend the driver’s licence of anyone caught street racing. This one-week driver’s licence suspension would help police stop street racers from putting others on the road at risk, Swan said.

He said the changes complement Bill 21, introduced last week, which would ensure convicted drivers could have their vehicles impounded if they do not follow the rules of the ignition interlock program.

Under the existing legislation, street racers may face fines of up to $5,000 and driver's licence suspensions of up to one year. Serious street-racing incidents can result in criminal charges, jail time and vehicle forfeiture.

Winnipeg police Chief Devon Clunis said he was pleased to support stronger sanctions against illegal driving.

"These pieces of legislation give law enforcement even more tools to keep our streets and communities safe from these highly dangerous activities," he said in a prepared statement.

History

Updated on Monday, April 22, 2013 at 4:15 PM CDT: Corrects typo in headline.

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