By Valencia Jones

ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — The issue of street racing hits too close to home for Bobbie Sanford, whose daughter-in-law, Jaye Mia Sanford, 52, was killed in an alleged DeKalb County street racing crash in November.

“A person who contributed to the community, who had family that she loved and family that loved her, was no longer with us,” Sanford said.

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Jaye Mia Sanford left behind a husband, son and a 16-year-old daughter who was injured in the crash. “It was so surreal, I was thinking, ‘Something must be done,’” Bobbie Sanford said.

“Our streets, highways and parking lots have become a free-for-all speedway for criminals,” said Governor Brian Kemp, during a press conference at the State Capitol on February 19, 2021. Bobbie Sanford was there as Kemp introduced anti-street racing legislation called House Bill 534. “One of the key issues we knew we needed to get to work on was reckless street racing and stunt driving,” Kemp said.

The current laws prohibit drag racing on public roads and laying drags, which involves zig-zagging and unnecessary spinning. The bill adds organizing drag racing and reckless stunt driving to the list of offenses.

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Members of law enforcement support the bill. “When these large groups get together, it’s a danger for the folks involved, it’s a danger for the communities they’re in,” said Lieutenant Colonel Stephanie Stallings.

“They’re the ones that are charged with actually enforcing the law, and so what they brought to us was a solution,” said State Representative Josh Bonner (R-Dist. 72), referring to law enforcement. Bonner is sponsoring HB 534 along with several other lawmakers.

Several cities, including Atlanta, Sandy Springs and Chamblee, have recently made changes to toughen street racing ordinances. “It gives us hope and the feeling that other families, hopefully, will not have to endure the kind of pain and devastation that we have had to,” Sanford said. “It’s not gonna bring my daughter-in-law back, but it gives us hope.”

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Street racing advocates have said they’re working to find a safe place for drivers to participate in drag racing activities.