July 3, 2022

Designated Area For Street Racing in Atlanta

Sometimes it seems like Americans would rather give up than face a problem head on.

A recent example was when US states like Georgia allowed 16 year old ‘learners permit’ holders to receive their driver’s licenses without a test. Yes, the virus pandemic interfered with the routines of life, and getting a license at 16 is a rite of passage…but come on! No test means even the worst of these “drivers” will be on the road. In Ontario, tests were simply delayed until the pandemic eases. Where do these teens need to go so urgently?!

Much like Toronto’s problems, Atlanta has had a startling increase in street racing throughout the pandemic. The empty roads created by the lock down lead to a massive increase in stunt-driving ‘sideshows’ in Atlanta.

In a CBS report out of Atlanta, the local mayor has hatched a plan to establish a designated space for street racing and stunt driving. Shockingly, the idea was put before Mayor Kiesha Lance Bottoms by her 18 year old son! They mayor is studying the idea of blocking off public roads to segregate racers from regular traffic.

Atlanta has a deep and rich car culture, but city sanctioned racing on public roads undeniably brings up questions of safety and liability. Turning a blind eye to the problem of street racing, or condoning it in designated areas does ignores the threat to public safety, both for spectators and participants. Atlanta could face liability for property damage, injuries and even wrongful death lawsuits.

An alternative idea could be “Take it to the Track” events where they city subsidizes a local drag strip to host events where people can safely race.

There are five drag strips within an hour of Atlanta, desperately hurting for money because of the pandemic, that already have the safety facilities for such events. ‘Test and Tune‘ nights at local drag strips are already cheap, but some folks aren’t really about racing, speed and competition.

If they were, they’d be at the track, not in a parking lot at 3:00 am.

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