ATLANTA — It’s an ongoing problem that nobody seems to be able to put a lid on, but street racers in Atlanta continue to create havoc, putting people at risk and making area residents angry.
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Channel 2′s Michael Seiden got video which shows bystanders gathered at 12th and Peachtree Streets watching several drivers perform donuts and burn-outs. Another video shows a driver nearly crashing into a spectator trying to shoot video.
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Atlanta Police say they did respond to the area just 15-minutes after things started but did not cite or arrest anybody.
People living nearby were angry the racers disrupted their night and told Seiden, they were even more concerned about the public safety issue.
“It’s a nuisance and it’s probably unsafe is almost the bigger concern. You worry about people on the sidewalks. I don’t have the answer to it but it would be nice to see more of a police presence,” a nearby resident told Seiden.
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Street racing and stunts have been a problem in Metro Atlanta since the pandemic began early in the year.
APD has made dozens of arrests and issued more than 500 citations but most of those drivers were released before they ever faced a judge.
Atlanta’s City Council recently, passed an ordinance requiring anyone arrested for street racing or stunts must face a judge before getting released from jail.
But it does not appear to have solved the problem as incidents continue to pop up. Some city leaders tell Seiden they believe the State Legislature may need to step in order to put the brakes on this type of “street racing” incident.
Saturday, Felicia Moore, president of the Atlanta City Council, sent the following the statement to Channel 2:
“While those who choose to partake in laying drag and racing activities are having ‘fun,’ their behavior is at the expense of the health, safety, and welfare of Atlanta citizens,” she wrote. “The Council has passed legislation to give additional enforcement tools to our police department. I and others have been in discussions with State Legislators to amend state laws regarding confiscating vehicles, additional points on drivers licenses, etc., in an attempt to discourage the behavior. Our police, along with the Georgia State Patrol and other partners are working diligently to proactively and reactively put a stop to this trend. There is much work to be done, and I, along with the entire Council are committed to doing our part,” said Moore.