Street racers and stunt drivers were out in force in various spots in Atlanta, including Buckhead’s Northside Drive and Moores Mill Road corridors, on the weekend of Jan. 8-10.
The Atlanta Police Department said its street racing detail made 13 arrests and issued 174 citations over the weekend. Social media was abuzz with reports of hundreds of cars blocking intersections and fleeing police.
Other street-racing hot spots over the weekend included Ponce De Leon Avenue and Moreland Avenue through Little Five Points, according to APD and social media reports. In the early morning hours of Jan. 10, police helicopters were buzzing over Inman Park, Poncey-Highland and Old Fourth Ward as the racers scattered into the neighborhoods.
Street-racing has been a major public safety and quality-of-life concern since the pandemic’s hit on commuting and shopping has opened up roads and parking lots. Racing was a main impetus for the creation of a “Buckhead Security Plan” that aims to beef up several existing police programs in the neighborhood and across the city.
Maj. Andrew Senzer, the commander of Buckhead’s Zone 2 police precinct, has said that a main problem with getting such crime under control is the pandemic-related closure of state courts. The city Municipal Court is open, and some street racing cases have seen guilty pleas for a new $1,000 maximum fine, city solicitor Hala Carey told Neighborhood Planning Unit B on Jan. 5. However, defendants who request their right to a jury trial must transfer to state courts that remain closed or delayed, she said.
For more about the weekend street racing, see coverage in Atlanta Intown.
–Collin Kelley and John Ruch