BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Drag racing and street racing is a well-known problem throughout Baton Rouge and the state of Louisiana. But the Baton Rouge Metro Council decided to make a change that will hopefully solve that problem.

“Law enforcement was seeing these large crowds at a gathering, and what they were finding was it was hard to break through those crowds,” said Councilman Rowdy Gaudet.

Back in August of last year, a drag racing and street racing on public roads ordinance went into effect. This Wednesday the Metro Council voted 7 to 4 to increase penalties.

“To deter people in participating even as spectators and to deter people as organizers on social media,” said Gaudet.

According to Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul, he said these types of arrests and charges are a process.

“That takes investigative efforts, that takes the reviewing of video,” said Paul.

For those involved in the fast lane, law enforcement said with the new ordinance they will increase arrests if need be.

“If you look at what happened the night of the Garth Brooks concert, we’re still making arrests, we just made arrest I think this week,” said Paul.

The ordinance, originally a $500 fine, has now been increased to $1,000, and offenders may be imprisoned from 10 to 90 days. Additionally, driver’s licenses will be suspended and offenders will have to visit the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to get them back.

“The message we want to send to the community, to those individuals who are involved in this type of behavior… It is not cool,” said Paul.

The Metro Council decided that this new ordinance will take effect immediately.