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.
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.
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.
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.
Whitney Russell is a current resident of Dayton, though her spirit can be found beach-bumming in Puerto Rico (the land of her half-Puerto Rican heritage). When not adventuring through the exciting world of car news, she can be found hiking with her husband and their two dogs, motorcycling, visiting her cute nephews and nieces, discovering new memes, reorganizing and/or decorating some corner of the world, researching random things, and escaping into a great movie, poem, or short story. See more articles by Whitney.