Dangerous driving has gotten worse in Indianapolis during the past two years and new moves to crack down on the practice were announced this week.
Increased incidents of reckless driving, aggressive behavior, speeding and street racing are happening across Marion County. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said targeting these unsafe actions is a priority.
“In fact I would suggest that safe roadways are a larger part of a safer city overall,” Hogsett said.
Indiana State Police and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department will partner to address the problem through increased traffic patrols, citations and added technology.
More than $1 million will go to the effort, including money from the American Rescue Plan. Reckless driving has increased since the pandemic. IMPD Assistant Chief Chris Bailey said drivers' behavior has worsened.
“They’re distracted, driving aggressively to get from point A to point B, driving while high, driving while drunk and sometimes driving while angry, which increases road rage,” Bailey said.
The press conference was held on 38th Street, a road that has been historically dangerous. City-County Councilor John Barth said motorists racing makes it worse.
“I have constituents who tell me they refuse to drive on 38th Street,” Barth said. “I frequently have constituents tell me that.”
Efforts to stop street racing and “spinning clubs” where people gather to drag race are already underway. Police target people who post on social media about these gatherings and have arrested 26 individuals to date.
Other recent efforts have resulted in thousands of additional tickets and citations. New technology including license plate readers and cameras will be implemented.