'I think it's just a matter of time before someone is killed': Street racing in Davidson County

street racing car throwing smoke
Posted at 5:30 PM, Jan 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-22 18:46:08-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Ginny Staggs moved to Brentwood in search of a peaceful community. Instead, she now lives with the sound of loud engines and burning rubber. She said street racing has revved up in the area.

"Most of the information I'm seeing in this area is from Nippers Corner to I-65 on OHB," said Staggs.

"I think that the problem has been going on for a long time, and nothing has been resolved," said Staggs.

Old Hickory Boulevard is where neighbors say many of the problems happen. Staggs said she herself almost had a head-on collision.

"This car comes flying over the hill about 90 miles an hour in the turn lane coming straight for me," she said. The car passed her in the wrong lane of traffic before taking off on I-65.

Metro Council Member Courtney Johnston said her biggest concern is safety.

"I think it's just a matter of time before someone is killed," Johnston said.

She also said that busting meet-ups takes the help of business owners.

"If that private property owner does not have a trespass waiver on file with the police department, the police department has no legal authority to go onto that property to enforce no trespass," said Johnston.

That's why she's working with business owners, legislators and other community members to create tougher penalties and improve traffic calming measures in the area.

Johnston — who has also pushed to put license plate readers on the roads — says cameras can also be an effective tool in catching street racers.

"We have to have more enforcement," said Johnston. "It's going to take all police departments communicating with each other, which they do. Having THP come in and help, especially on those state routes — and that's where a lot of this is happening."

But the solution is complex, and Johnston admits it will take time.

"It is absolutely a safety issue. I know the noise is an annoyance," she said. "My number one concern is public safety and making sure that people are not going to be injured or killed."

In the meantime, Staggs will wait for that solution and hope no one gets hurt before then.

"It might be [that they're doing it] because they can get away with it, and if they couldn't get away with it they would go somewhere else," she said.

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