By making it legal!?
Streets and highways have been far emptier over the past several weeks for an obvious reason. But this hasn't stopped thousands of drivers across the country from taking advantage of the situation. Some have attempted Cannonball records (and succeeded), while others have been caught by police far exceeding legal speed limits. Drag racing has been another issue plaguing law enforcement during the health crisis, but the city of Atlanta, Georgia might have the best solution.
CBS 46 News affiliate reports city officials led by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms are considering the idea of setting a designated space for street racing along with other similar motoring acts like donuts and burnouts. Lance Bottoms claims her 18-year-old son first gave her the idea and now the city is working with Bloomberg Associates, a municipal consulting agency started by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to find the best and safest way to set up such a place for enthusiasts.
"Along with Bloomberg, who we've reached out to help us do some benchmarking and assessment of what's happening in other cities has been to consider a designated space for street racing," said Mayor Bottoms while on a call with City Council. Other cities such as Detroit have made similar moves after too many instances of illegal street races and donuts. San Jose, California has enacted particularly harsh measures.
Two such past but separate incidents involved owners of a Chevy Camaro and Dodge Charger and their associates blocking off a section of highway during busy traffic hours solely to do donuts and film the entire thing. The city was not amused and those involved were later charged.
But Atlanta realizes it'd be better to set up a safe and designated area for such shenanigans rather than for it to happen elsewhere. "It keeps the culture of Atlanta alive, we do love our burnouts and our cars," said city resident Xavier Dickinson."
Other city council members, however, disagree with the idea of creating a designated space, believing it wouldn't eliminate the issue of illegal drag racing completely. Those against it point out that Atlanta Motor Speedway already allows anyone with a valid license to come and do donuts and drag race during designated times and dates.
For now, the Mayor's office is still studying the issue but given Atlanta's active street racing scene, a solution will need to be found sooner rather than later.