Whitney Russell
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Atlanta Might Make a Legal Space for Burnouts and Drag Racing

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drag racing street racing burnout wheelie
Atlanta might soon have a designated space to pull wheelies and do burnouts
Photo: Life-Of-Pix via Pixabay

We already discussed the recent surge in speeding tickets this spring, as more drivers take advantage of less traffic to test their car’s limits. It turns out that another dangerous roadside behavior has become more prevalent: street racing. Atlanta is just one of the major U.S. cities currently addressing the increase in reckless driving.

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A dilemma and a potential solution

According to CBS 46, city officials in Atlanta are researching how they could establish a designated space for street racing and other driving stunts. Per the city’s chief of police Erika Shields, reckless driving is at an all-time high in the city. Earlier this month, Shields and her team responded to a street racing gathering in western Atlanta that attracted more than 100 young adults, reports Fox 5.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms shares how her 18-year-old son inspired the idea. She says that the city is currently dialoguing with Bloomberg Associates, a municipal consulting agency, to do some benchmarking. If Atlanta does create a drag racing zone, it will likely model it after similar spaces in other American cities.

Locals like Xavier Dickinson think that the space will help keep the city’s culture alive in a safer way. “We do love our burnouts and our cars.”

The city’s relationship with driving stunts has a lengthy history, explains Autoblog’s Jonathon Ramsey. The YouTube channel 1320video has been posting local street racing videos for years.

Dissenting opinions

But residents have mixed views about the potential new zone. Some view reckless driving as something that should be totally prohibited anywhere in the state. Atlanta councilmember Dustin Hillis recently introduced a new law that would enforce stricter citations for sideshows and other driving stunts. He believes that street racers won’t take advantage of designated areas since part of the thrill of reckless driving is doing it illegally in non-designated areas.

Chief Shields also expressed skepticism about creating the zone. She said that the only way to crack down on reckless driving is to impound offenders’ cars and, ideally, put them in jail.

It’ll be interesting to see if the city approves the potential designated zone for street racing. Though, we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see what city officials decide, since plans are still in the early stages.

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