Atlanta’s interim police chief lays out new initiative to combat street racing across city

ATLANTA — Atlanta’s interim police chief was one of several people who spoke at a virtual meeting on Monday night to talk about the street racing problems in the city.

People who live across the city said they are concerned with walking or even driving around parts of Atlanta at night because of the street racers.

For more than 90 minutes Monday night, Atlanta residents and business owners flooded the phone lines of the public safety committee hearing.

“I do not feel safe. I don’t think my children are safe. I don’t think their friends are safe,” one resident said.

Those who spoke voiced their concerns and frustrations to council members who have been trying to come up with a solution to stop illegal street racing since the summer.


“It is every night. It is sometimes all day,” another resident said. “We are so afraid someone is going to get killed.”

After hearing from the public, interim Atlanta police Chief Rodney Bryant weighed in.

He used a PowerPoint presentation to provide new data. Since the beginning of the year, he said officers have issued nearly 500 citations to drivers accused of breaking laws.

“These charges are anywhere from racing on our highways and streets, laying drag, reckless driving,” Bryant said.

He also discussed a new strategy that includes officers stepping up patrols in Buckhead, midtown and downtown — the three most problematic neighborhoods in the city when it comes to street racing.

“Over the weekend, we utilized that strategy and were able to write over 202 citations with a total of 255 traffic stops,” Bryant said.

Bryant also fielded questions from City Council members.

“How are you able to catch these racers given the fact there’s a ‘no chase’ policy?” one council member asked Bryant.

“In partnership with Georgia State Patrol, who does have the ability to chase. They will carry out that part of it,” Bryant said.

The interim chief said there is still a ton of work that needs to be done. But so far, his department’s new plan appears to be working.