Police step up street racing, drifting enforcement as the Atlanta City Council passes stiffer penalties

 Atlanta City Council Approves Legislation Setting Penalties for Street Racing, Adopts Ordinance for Peace Museum Complex at Rodney Cook Sr. Park

 If it were not so dangerous, police might put enforcement on the back burner. But daredevil stunts by drivers who jam major Atlanta streets is dangerous.

They were out again this weekend. Law enforcement showed up and made a few arrests. But essentially, it was another cat and mouse operation with police flushing the drivers and their onlookers to another site.

Atlanta residents are tired of the noise -- engines roaring in the middle of the night.

Beyond that, one group clogged all lanes on Peachtree Street just south of Buckhead.

"What if I or a family member needed to get to Piedmont Hospital," complained one resident who voiced his concerns to the Atlanta City Council. 

Attorney Jackie Patterson, a former police officer, said the law that's in place now is sufficient. It is reckless driving and the guilty motorist is subject to jail time.

"All the police can do, really, is keep up the enforcement," Patterson said. "If they let up, the street racers are not going to stop."

Monday evening, the Atlanta City Council approved an ordinance that stiffens the penalty for spectators to one of those events. Anyone caught just watching could face a minimum fine of $1,000 and court costs or six months in jail.