ATLANTA - Drivers in the city of Atlanta told FOX 5 they're fed up with dirt bike and ATV riders taking over city streets.
Atlanta Police say it's an issue they've dealt with for several months now, but it's also posing challenges for cities nationwide. Last summer, APD said three riders jumped on and damaged a squad car when an officer tried to chase them for reckless driving. But when the packs of 50 or more riders take to the roads, drivers said they speed, pull wheelies and run through red lights.
“These ATV riders and these guys on dirt bikes disregard all traffic law,” Major Jeff Glazier said. “They are very dangerous and aggressive toward Atlanta police officers and law enforcement, in general. We take this very seriously.”
Glazier said, even though this is an issue for the department, they have received fewer citizen complaints about the large rides over the last year. He said officers continue to patrol the streets and monitor the city's surveillance cameras to identify riders. And at times, they can make arrests when the violators aren't on the road. Glazier added pursuing them on streets could put other people at risk.
“Pursuits are dangerous. You have a 5,000 pound vehicle traveling 60, 70, 80 miles an hour down a city street where there are children playing, families walking, people walking dogs and people jogging. So, you have to be very careful when you start a pursuit," Glazier said.
Police said reckless riding amounts to a misdemeanor charge, which can include a fine and other penalties.