The City of Flint is taking a hard line against reckless driving, sending a message that there will be consequences for drivers who break the law and endanger lives.
City officials filed a lawsuit in Circuit Court last week against a man accused of recklessly driving a vehicle in Flint. The claim states that the vehicle and the person operating it were not only reckless but should be declared a public nuisance and the vehicle should be forfeited to the City of Flint.
According to the complaint, a grey Dodge Charger was seen traveling up to 100 miles per hour on Saginaw St. near E. Fifth St. and Martin Luther King Blvd. in the early morning of Saturday, March 25. A Michigan State Police trooper reportedly witnessed the vehicle do “donuts” in the street and almost collide with another car. The trooper captured part of the incident on video.
“We want to make it clear that dangerous driving will not be tolerated inside the city of Flint,” Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley said.
“The safety of Flint residents is our top priority. Those who get behind the wheel of a vehicle and drag race, drive aggressively or recklessly are not only putting innocent people at risk, but they are breaking the law.”
“The Flint Police Department and our law enforcement agency partners are committed to cracking down on this dangerous behavior for the protection of Flint residents, especially our children. Flint kids deserve to feel safe in their neighborhoods, without the threat of reckless drivers,” the Mayor continued.
A reckless driving ordinance passed by the city council last year allows the city to directly request that vehicles used in this manner are forfeited.
City Attorney William Kim was unsure if this was the first time the new ordinance has been put into use, but the city plans to use it throughout the summer to enforce egregious traffic violations.
“Seventy miles an hour in a residential area is not only unsafe, it is a hazard to public safety,” Chief Terence Green said. “Basically, this ordinance is going to save lives.”
Speaking on the announcement of the city’s hard line on reckless driving and traffic enforcement Mayor Neeley said, “This is not a message, this is a warning, that this won’t be tolerated here in the city of Flint.” He continued, “This year, we’re going to take a hard line. We’ll enforce all of our traffic regulations, rules and laws in this community. This is not a bluff.”
The initiative stretches throughout each department that assists in enforcing the law in downtown Flint, including the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office, UM-Flint Department of Public Safety and Michigan State Police.
To date this year, 812 traffic citations have been issued and 329 guns have been confiscated in an effort to reduce crime in the city, Flint Det. Sgt. Tyrone Booth added.
According to the Flint City ordinance, any motor vehicle used to engage in reckless driving in the city of Flint is a nuisance and subject to forfeiture.
“If you endanger the peace and safety of this community, we will not hesitate to take legal action against you, including the possible forfeiture of your vehicle,” Mayor Neeley said. “I’m asking drivers to heed this warning. Do the right thing and drive safely, for the protection of yourself and others.”