City to fine illegal street racing spectators

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) — Atlanta’s City Council is cracking down on street racers. City officials say the problem has been getting worse for months with cars driving recklessly and clogging up intersections.

But now, officials say they are putting in place penalties that include racers, organizers and spectators.

“The legalization is to act as a deterrent to bad behavior,” said Atlanta council member Micheal Bond.

The city council voted to fine violators a minimum fine of $1,000 plus court costs or imprisonment of up to six months, but the changes are not targeting drivers, instead passengers and other street race participants.

“The car racers aren’t going to do it if they don’t have an audience so I have really got my fingers crossed very tight that works all over the city to at least cut down, if not totally eliminate the racing,” added council member Carol Smith.

CBS46 spoke to one spectator, who wanted to hide his identity out of fear of retaliation. He tells us he doesn’t believe the new fines will put an end to the racing, but instead only force racers to move underground.

“It may slow it down a little bit but I feel like they’ll just find another way to go around it. They’ll possibly just switch locations or probably be more tight with who is in the group,” he adds.

The Atlanta Police Department says they’re also implementing other tactics to help stop and deter street racing, but because of safety concerns they would not disclose those strategies.

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