Senate clears way for local street races in Georgia

ATLANTA, GA (AP) - Senators have cleared the lane for local street races, touted as an economic development initiative for cash-strapped Georgia.

Senate Bill 345, sponsored by Sen. Jim Butterworth, passed 41-9 on Tuesday. Under the proposal, racing on highways or streets would be allowed when the race is sanctioned by the county or municipality and the road is closed to other traffic during the race.

Emergency medical personnel would also have to be present at events and the race would have to be publicized 30 days prior to the event.

The Cornelia Republican says such races could be a big tourism draw for Georgia. Critics derided the proposal as a public safety issue.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.