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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Racing on public streets could cost drivers their cars under a new law signed Tuesday by Gov. Jeb Bush.

The measure (HB 71) gives police the authority to seize the cars of owners who commit repeat offenses within five years.

Racing side-by-side or speeding alone around a set course becomes a first-degree misdemeanor under the new law, which takes effect in October. Offenders can be punished by a year in jail and fined $1,000, up from 60 days in jail with a $500 fine.

Drag racing has been a rising problem in Florida, law enforcement officials report.

Other bills Bush signed into law Tuesday include:

a measure (SB 878) that reduces the number of newspaper ads required when a property owner becomes delinquent on taxes in a two-year experiment in Lake, Marion, Seminole and Sumter counties;

a bill (HB 205) that aims to prevent the sale of counterfeit and untaxed cigarettes by requiring anyone involved in cigarette sales to be licensed and to document where they received their product;

a measure (HB 1267) that allows people living in nursing homes to ask to move their bed to a different spot in their room, even though it may not comply with the building code. The location of the bed may be changed only if it doesn't interfere with staff providing care and isn't dangerous for the nursing home resident.
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