Tough New Law Aims To Crack Down On Drag Racers In Yonkers

YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Yonkers is trying to put the brakes on drag racing in the wake of a deadly dispute among drivers.

Illegal street drag racing has been a problem in Yonkers for years. As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, a new city law aims to put a stop to it by hitting racers where it hurts.

“It’s simple: Get caught drag racing, and we are going to confiscate your car,” Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said.

Michael Nolan, a 23-year-old pro baseball prospect shot dead in 2015, one night after a drag racing dispute he wasn’t even involved in led to a fight.

“It’s changed my family,” said Donna Nolan, Michael’s mother. “There’s that emptiness. There’s that loneliness. There’s that … at the end of the day knowing that he’s never coming home.”

Holding onto a picture of her son, Donna Nolan wiped away tears as the car-seizure law, which goes into effect Saturday, was announced on Central Avenue.

“If we’re out there and we’re fighting and you can get laws like this passed, then I’m keeping his memory alive because that’s what he would’ve wanted,” Donna Nolan said. “Michael was a fighter.”

Drag racers love straightaways on Central Avenue, the New York State Thruway and local parkways. Yonkers police will enforce the law on city, state and county roads.

Parents whose kids get caught racing will have a chance to get their cars back.

“If the individual that owns the vehicle was not aware of the activity, there are some provisions of the law that they can work that out through the legal process,” said Yonkers police Commissioner Charles Gardner.

Otherwise cars seized could be auctioned off.

“This law will definitely help save people and save people from the pain that we’ve had to endure,” said Jimmy Nolan, Michael’s brother.

Yonkers officials say they are the first city in the state to pass an anti-drag-racing, car-seizure law, though Suffolk County has a similar law.

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