As traffic levels in the USA have dropped due to nationwide Covid-19 shelter-in-place orders, speeds have increased. Fines involving big speed limit infractions have risen, with one Dodge Challenger drive in Michigan infamously clocked at 180mph in a 70mph zone. The Cannonball record has fallen twice amidst a spate of attempts making the most of quiet roads, while in Atlanta, the already busy street racing scene has exploded.
The city has an unconventional idea which might drastically curb its illegal street racing issue, however - make it legal. Well, sort of.
The idea, based around a suggestion from the 18-year-old son of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, would be to offer a “designated area” for street racing. Most likely, this would involve closing off a section of road for sanctioned competition, much like Detroit’s Roadkill Nights.
It isn’t the only potential solution on the table, however. Atlanta officials have been working with Bloomberg Associates, the consultancy set up by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to look at various solutions to its street racing problem.
“Along with Bloomberg, who we’ve reached out to help us do some bench marking and assessment of what’s happening in other cities has been to consider a designated space for street racing,” Mayor Bottoms told the City Council on a call, CBS 46 reports.
If it is Atlanta’s chosen solution, there would inevitably be opposition - not just from the public, but also from officials. Atlanta Council member Dustin Hillis, who’s behind a new anti-street racing law, doesn’t think a legal spot for such antics will be a sufficient antidote since officially-sanctioned activities would remove the illicit thrill.
Either way, it’ll be a while before anything happens, with the Mayor’s office confirming to CBS 46 that its research is still in an early stage.