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Police issue nearly 100 citations in weekend street racing busts

By Chelsea Prince, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #atlanta-ga

Atlanta police issued citations to nearly 100 drivers over the weekend as part of a continued effort to crack down on illegal street racing.

Officers made 43 traffic stops and issued 97 citations between Friday and Sunday, the police department said in a tweet. Stunt driving and illegal street racing events have plagued police for months, becoming more prevalent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The police department has said it is using all available resources to put a stop to the events, which can attract large crowds and bring traffic to a halt. The late night gatherings are often filmed on cellphones and shared to social media.

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In recent weeks, street racing events have wreaked havoc on I-85 in DeKalb County. Three Marietta men were arrested Sept. 5 after authorities said they blocked the northbound lanes of I-85 near Spaghetti Junction so they could “lay drag” on the interstate. The day before, a 23-year-old driver was arrested in connection with another stunt driving event in the same area that injured a bystander, according to DeKalb police.

Another illegal gathering in August drew nearly 100 cars to the area of Peachtree Street and I-85 in the city of Atlanta. The crowd disbanded and relocated twice before officers moved in for the final time. Two people were arrested and several others were issued citations, Atlanta police said at the time.

“We still continue to have the problem we did, but at one point we had it bad enough where they were able to take over the interstate or do some other really kind of dangerous activity,” Atlanta police Deputy Chief Mark O’Conor told Channel 2 Action News. “We’ve been able to eliminate most of that.”

In addition to the 97 citations from over the weekend, police impounded two vehicles.