Published On: Thu, Mar 4th, 2021

ATL Street Racing Crackdown is Not Enough to Keep Other Drivers Safe

Street racing can be incredibly dangerous as it occurs on public roads and is highly illegal. However, despite the dangers and legalities it occurs at an alarming frequency. These races are sometimes thoroughly planned out, or they can be spontaneous which makes policing them more difficult. Atlanta has seen an increase in street racing since the pandemic started, and citizens want the police to do more to stop these races.

COVID and Street Races

The coronavirus pandemic has created optimal conditions for street racers, and the pandemic has led to more street races happening everyday. The streets of Atlanta continue to house street races and the sound of screeching tires is becoming more normal. The uptick in races is due to less people travelling on the roads, and racers see these empty streets and roadways as the perfect race track.

Policing Street Racing

Atlanta police have come out and stated they are making it a priority to catch street racers and stop the races. In October they made 312 traffic stops relating to street racing in just one week, and a weekend in December also resulted in 4 arrests and 168 citations. The police department is taking this issue seriously as street races not only contribute to noise pollution, but also can result in fatal crashes. It is estimated that 50 people each year die due to illegal street racing. 

Arresting Racers

Atlanta police officers have been making arrests, but oftentimes the street racers are able to leave the scene before police can make it to the area. When the police arrive at the scene, racers see the flood of red and blue lights and take off making the identification of racers difficult. Michael Julian Bond, a City Councilman, brought forward legislation that requires street racers who were arrested to be brought in front of a judge before they can be released from jail. Bond believes that a judge could review cases and determine who is a first-time offender from frequent racers.

Support From The Public

Residents of Atlanta are generally unhappy with how police are treating street racing, while there is a little support that the police are trying, the public believes the police could do better. The Atlanta community feels as though there are more negative effects of the police crackdown as the current solution involves jail time and going to already overcrowded courts. Ideally, the public wants a solution that does not involve more police. Car enthusiasts also want a solution that does not involve more policing and jail as they feel they are unfairly targeted. These enthusiasts believe that police see them and immediately assume they are the street racing demographic and offenders leading to unfair treatment. Overall, this street racing is making Atlanta roadways more dangerous and can increase the risk of an accident. These racers are not only a danger to themselves but to other drivers and pedestrians along Atlanta roadways.

Proposed Solutions

Instead of relying on heavy policing, one solution would be for the City of Atlanta to invest in technology such as: advanced license plate readers and cameras. This solution would cut down the noise pollution as the police would not have to chase after the street racers but instead be able to identify them through the technology. 

Contacting an Attorney

If you or a loved one was involved in an accident caused by street racing in Atlanta the attorneys at Shiver Hamilton are here to help. Our attorneys are skilled at navigating the nuances of the law and could walk you through your options.

Author: Sadaf Zain

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