Rozic Announces Legislation to Combat Dangerous Speed Racing on Local Roads

FURIOUS Act would allow for speed cameras where persistent speeding occurs

Queens, NY – Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D, WF-Fresh Meadows) announced legislation with State Senator Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan) that would crack down on illegal street racing by making it easier to hold reckless drivers accountable. The legislation, the Fighting Underground Racing In Our Streets (FURIOUS) Act, comes in response to numerous complaints about dangerous speed racing across New York City. 

“The status quo is simply unacceptable,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic. “We need to hold reckless drivers accountable and make it clear that this dangerous behavior will not be tolerated on our streets, particularly during a raging pandemic.”

New Yorkers across the city have been filing complaints about the surge of illegal racing, which puts motorists, pedestrians and cyclists in peril and keeps locals awake at all hours of the night with revving engines, screeching tires and squealing brakes. City data shows 1,057 complaints were made to 311 about drag racing between March 20, 2020 and September 10, 2020 – nearly five times the 239 calls made during the same period in 2019. In August alone, 214 complaints were made — compared to just 73 in August 2019.

Locally, drag racing has persisted in Eastern Queens with regular gatherings of speed racing in the parking lots of the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center and Cunningham Park. With fewer cars on the road because of the pandemic, the sounds of revving engines and screeching tires have become a nightly occurrence, although residents say the reckless driving has been a problem for years.

The new legislation would authorize the city to operate existing speed cameras in areas generating specific complaints about drag racing or other reckless driving from 10 PM - 6 AM, pending approval from a local community board. It also amends state law to further restrict illegal street racing. Legal precedent makes it difficult to hold dangerous racers accountable due to the limited scope of a law that has been interpreted to mean that the drivers must have agreed on a course beforehand. Under this bill, drivers engaging in speed contests and races would be held accountable for violating the law, regardless of whether they pre-planned a race course.

This legislation comes after Rozic sent a letter to the 107th NYPD Precinct and NYPD Highway Patrol about the ongoing issue. Full text of the letter can be found below.


Dear Deputy Inspector Henry:

I am writing on behalf of my constituents to express concern about the prevalent drag racing in our community. Almost every evening, the sounds of screeching tires and roaring engines echo across Fresh Meadows -- specifically the Fresh Meadows Shopping Center Parking Lot located at 64th Avenue and 188th Street, its surrounding streets, as well as Cunningham Park. Neighbors have said it can start as early as 5 p.m. and extend late into the night. Many have reported this information to the precinct, but believe that there has been minimal action taken on their behalf. 

As you know, drag racing is a dangerous situation for both the drivers and any surrounding pedestrians in the area. Car crashes resulting from drag racing can lead to long-term or life-threatening consequences, and there is also a serious risk of striking nearby pedestrians or causing costly damage to the surrounding area that is heavily populated by commercial and residential buildings. With most people forced to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, some of the ones who are still driving around are taking the opportunity to get reckless on the road. The risk and disturbance is even greater for residents in Fresh Meadows who are staying at home as much as possible. 

To curb the practice of drag racing in the community, I am requesting increased patrols from our Neighborhood Coordination Officers (“NCOs”) during evening hours. Drag racers have consistently returned to Fresh Meadows to take advantage of our quiet, open streets. Increasing patrols in the area would allow law enforcement to witness the drag racing firsthand and take action while reassuring the safety of local residents. 

Additionally, I am requesting any information that can be shared with my office on the number of drag racing complaints that have been registered since the start of the pandemic in March. It has been reported that upticks in drag racing have occurred across the city as a result of stay at home orders that reduced the amount of vehicular traffic. With increased patrols in the area, having access to the latest data will determine whether or not the presence of NCO’s has an impact on mitigating the drag racing in Fresh Meadows. 

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to your response and working with you and our NCOs to maintain the quality of life in Fresh Meadows and ensure the safety of all involved. Any future correspondence on this issue can be directed to my Chief of Staff, Meagan Molina, at or 718-820-0241. 


Nily Rozic