Candidate Questions

What will you commit to do to respond to street racing in our communities?

These answers are offered as a community service from candidates who chose to respond.
They do not represent an endorsement by the Buckhead Coalition.

Mayor Candidates

  • Andre Dickens: The General Assembly passed a bill to allow for greater penalties related to street racing. It has only been five months since that bill was signed, but we have seen some success in reducing street racing. As with any new change, this will take time to have an impact. We need to allow this bill some time to work before rushing to alternative options. If it does not have an impact, then I will work with APD to determine an appropriate path forward.
  • Sharon Gay: This obviously needs to be stopped. We can’t have crowds gathered at all hours of the night racing cars and creating a public disturbance. I know that many of these so-called street racing enthusiasts are from the suburbs; they are not citizens of our city. We need to crack down and use every means available to us – including newly enacted laws that allow confiscation of the vehicles and coordination with other jurisdictions — to eradicate this activity.
  • Mark Hammad: It’s simple: Catch them and prosecute them.

Right now, the APD is understaffed. First, we need to make sure the APD has adequate staffing and tools, especially for the overnight shift when much of this is occurring. Secondly, the state passed tougher laws regarding street racing – we need to use these to the fullest extent. Street racing is a crime of convenience. Strict enforcement will eliminate this activity.

  • Felicia Moore: Street racing poses a significant public safety risk, and it will require multi-jurisdictional law enforcement cooperation to bring it to an end in the City of Atlanta. In my first 100 days as our next Mayor, I will invite commanders of state, county, and city law enforcement to develop an actionable interdiction alert system and strategy to more rapidly and safely dispatch and contain street racing activity. I will also work with our City Council, DA’s, and courts to develop new policies and criminal penalties for street racing to make our streets and highways wholly unwelcome in this city.
  • Kasim Reed: If elected, I will not allow street racing of any kind and will implement measures to stop it. We will use helicopters to monitor and track offenders. Additionally, as it stands, street racers can currently be released on a signature bond if they cause an accident because our city jail is currently closed. I will keep the Atlanta City jail open and collaborate with the Fulton County Sheriff and Fulton County judges to alleviate overcrowding at the Fulton County jail to stop the revolving door for repeat offender criminals. I will work with the State and Fulton County to increase the number of judges available to process the immense backlog in prosecutions caused by the pandemic shutdown, so that criminal justice isn’t delayed any further and offenders aren’t being released prematurely.
  • Roosevelt Searles: Step 11 of of my 100 day Path to #ReclaimAtlanta is to begin fixing all public roads by 2024. In addition, APD’s Crime suppression unit coupled with The People’s Patrol will be required to enforce road safety. Patrol units will be used to surviell, report and issue noise citations. APD’s unit will work closely with GSP to monitor well known areas of road racers and we will utilize modern day technology to apprehend violators. The department will be equipped with Grappler bumpers, which can be viewed in action here.
  • Richard Wright: The current mayor’s administration oversaw a “NO-CHASE” policy that prevented peace officers from vehicular pursuit. This further added to the issue with street racing. Street racing is illegal and my administration will give APD the full authority to pursue these violators. Fines and/or arrests will be enforced.
  • Glenn S. Wrightson: As Mayor, I, Glenn S. Wrightson, would instruct law enforcement to be pro-active and enforce the laws. I would require recording car tag information and propose issuing severe fines and penalties. I would instruct police officers to safely impound vehicles as may be possible absent dramatic confrontations. I would coordinate with the State Agencies to restrict re-issuance of automobile tags and driver licenses when warranted.I would ask the State to restrict dark-tinted automobile windows and deflecting car tag covers.

City Council President Candidates

  • Natalyn Archibong: Street racing and stunt driving is a huge problem. I am proud of sponsoring legislation closing off streets where such behaviors were commonly occurring. While this solution quickly deterred illegal street racing, some nearby businesses were negatively impacted. Learning from this experience, I will work with the departments of City Planning, AtlDOT, The Atlanta Police Departments and our regional law enforcement partners to create coordinated strategies for arresting persons responsible for street racing and illegal stunt driving. Our city must also determine if stronger state laws will assist local jurisdictions by increasing the punishment for those who engage in street racing.
  • Courtney English: The state recently passed a law that increased penalties for street racing. That law must be enforced and those found guilty, should forfeit both their vehicles and their licenses. In order to ensure enforcement however, we will put more officers on the streets, increase police presence in designated areas, and prevent street races from signing out on signature bonds.
  • Doug Shipman: ​​We need to fully staff our police force so that proactive patrolling can be undertaken and ensure all equipment, including cameras, is operational to address street racing. We also need to work with communities to implement additional traffic calming measures in neighborhoods, enforce speed limits and adopt innovations such as light timing strategies from 9 pm to 6 am on major streets to limit racing and increase enforceability. Most importantly, we have to enforce penalties for street racing as this issue is dangerous and significantly impacts the willingness of residents and visitors to venture out into our community.

City Council Candidates, Post 1 At-Large

  • Michael Julian Bond: To deter illegal street-racing, I passed legislation requiring persons arrested for street-racing to be arraigned—thereby necessitating a judicial review of their charges before they can be released. I am also committed to ensuring that warrants issued for offenses be administratively recorded in the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) database, as required, and carried out by the Atlanta Police Department. The GCIC’s computerized database shares and coordinates statewide criminal justice records ensuring that open warrants and records are visible to all officers. The network also provides access to other state-maintained databases such as vehicle registration and driver’s license.
  • Alfred “Shivy” Brooks: I believe our response to street racing must be innovative. Recently, more stringent laws regarding racing were passed. At a local level, I propose organizing a municipally owned venue or track at which residents could legally engage in racing. This would allow residents with a passion for racing to do so in a safe, regulated environment which would not disrupt the safety of our neighborhoods and would not further damage our infrastructure. For those who insist on racing on city and neighborhood streets, the new, more stringent law enacted this year will provide additional enforcement options.
  • Brandon Goldberg: We can address multiple issues simultaneously by increasing the prevalence of speedbump crosswalks. This will ensure safer roads for pedestrians while decreasing the opportunity for street racing. When street racing does occur, security cameras should be used to track the vehicle and provide identification. Numerous voters have told me they are a single-issue voter, and this is the issue. Atlanta must work with the state legislature to allow for more penalties, including seizure of the vehicles involved and aggressive prosecution for those responsible. Cyber experts should also work to determine how groups are organizing so that authorities can intervene.
  • Todd Gray: Street racing is unacceptable and incredibly unsafe for Atlanta drivers. If elected, I plan on increasing the fines for those caught street racing, in order to deter future acts. If that does not solve the problem, then we will seriously consider harsher measures. We should also consider working with those in the legal racing community to find out what other measures may incentivize safer streets.

City Council Candidates, Post 2 At-Large

  • Matt Westmoreland: Last November, I joined with the vast majority of Council in voting to increase penalties on individuals violating racing laws on our streets. This is another question of enforcement. Instances of people racing or laying drag must be immediately shut down, and violators held accountable.

City Council Candidates, Post 3 At-Large

  • Jacki Labat: Any vehicle deemed to be a public nuisance vehicle involved in ANY street racing activities should be seized and forfeited on the spot. As with any law, enforcement is key. Collaboration between agencies will be crucial as staffing challenges continue to plague public safety agencies. As such, APD should continue to forge strong partnerships with the Georgia Department of Public Safety and other surrounding agencies to combat street racing. The city should adopt (and enforce) stricter legislation in alignment with the new state law that creates criminal penalties against not only participants, but organizers as well.
  • Jodi Merriday: I commit to supporting and further edifying House Bill 534. I believe that street racers should be ordered to participate in risk reduction programming, face license suspension, and be subject to fines, diversion programming, community service, and jail time for repeat offense.
  • Keisha Waites: During my 3-term tenure in the General Assembly, the legislature passed an anti-street racing law to give police more tools to arrest street racers and keep them off the streets. That is definitely a step in the right direction. However, due to opposition from rural communities the legislation does not address the unique challenge presented in urban cities.As a citywide representative, I will work with the legislature to strengthen local laws; while partnering with APD to ensure they have the resources needed to identify and arrest offenders. I would also work with neighborhoods to encourage communities to engage for prevention.
  • Sherry Williams: We need to direct the police to investigate these people on social media. They post tons of evidence and personal information all over social media. If law enforcement monitors these accounts, they can figure out who is organizing and participating in these races. This will allow the police to target the organizers in particular and get to the bottom of the issue. They can also use red light and other security cameras to identify perpetrators without needing to resort to dangerous street chases. We also want to look at best practices that are successful in other cities.

City Council Candidates, District 6

  • Alex Wan: Last year, the General Assembly passed HB534, which increased the penalties for street racing and stunt driving, including loss of one’s driver license, increased fines, and even forfeiture of one’s vehicle. With that, we now need to strengthen the coordination between the Atlanta Police Department and the Georgia State Patrol to increase our responsiveness as these incidents arise and enforce these penalties. I commit to working with the Zone Commanders and APD leadership to focus on the known “hot spots” to begin getting this under control.

City Council Candidates, District 9

  • Dustin Hillis: In 2020, I led the Council’s effort to further address street racing by authoring legislation, working alongside APD and Law, that added city ordinance violations for organizers and participants of the street racing events. At the time, state law could only be used to cite actual drivers. The state thankfully adopted a similar state law during the 2021 general session. Again, I will commit to ensuring APD has the resources they need to partner with Fulton County Sheriffs Office, GSP, and other agencies to fully address the street racing issue.