Defendants accused of street racing or riding all-terrain vehicles on public streets could be jailed without bond until a court appearance in an ordinance the Atlanta City Council will consider Nov. 2.

The ordinance seeks to declare street racing and ATV riding as a form of “violence.” Under current laws that followed a reform effort by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Municipal Court defendants accused of non-violent traffic offenses are released on their own recognizance before trial.

The ordinance describes such offenses as street racing, reckless driving and the use of all-terrain and off-road vehicles on city streets as “containing an element of violence or threatened violence” due to dangers to people or property.

Street racing has become a major issue across the city this year and helped to spark the local idea of a private police force dubbed “Buckhead Blue.” Earlier this year, the council passed another ordinance that aims to crack down on street racing, but provisions that threatened the jailing of spectators or the impounding of cars until trial were thrown out or deemed unenforceable by city attorneys due to conflicts with constitutional rights and state law.

The council meeting will be held at 1 p.m. and will be conducted remotely.  The meeting will be simulcast on the Council’s website, YouTube channel, Channel 26 and the council’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.