Atlanta City Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd has introduced an ordinance that could increase the minimum fine for operating off-road vehicles on public roads.
Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Proposed rules would increase fines for driving ATVs on public roads

The Atlanta City Council will soon consider increasing minimum fines for driving ATVs or motorized carts on city roads.

The proposal includes a $750 increase for first-time violators.  

The amendment, introduced by Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd, comes after a recent flood of ATVs on public streets, according to a news release.  

Three men were arrested for traffic violations related to riding ATVs and other off-road vehicles over one weekend earlier this month. In one case, an ATV stolen from the Fulton County Police Department was recovered.  

Many residents and commuters find the behavior, which can involve large groups of drivers running red lights and driving on the wrong side of the road, hazardous. Half a dozen calls were made to police regarding such activity between June 9 and June 11, police said.  

RELATED: Cops arrest 3 during recent flood of ATVs, dirt bikes on Atlanta roads

MORE: Atlanta eatery closed after car crashes into wall, causing flood

If the proposed ordinance passes, first-time violators could see a fine increase from $250 to $1,000. Fines for repeat offenders could rise from $500 to $1,000, and six months of jail time. 

The proposed legislation is up for discussion during the City Council’s Public Safety and Legal Administration Committee meeting Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Atlanta City Hall.

Police have been making arrests related to off-road vehicles on city roads for the past few years. 

In December, Atlanta rapper Lil Uzi Vert was one of two people arrested after riding unregistered and uninsured dirt bikes on sidewalks and in a parking lot. And in June 2015, “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” star Kirk Frost and another man were arrested after police were surrounded by about 400 dirt bikes, ATVs and related vehicles.

The practice happens in other metropolitan areas, including Miami-Dade County. For the past two Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekends, South Florida roadways were disrupted by people illegally riding of off-road vehicles, according to the Palm Beach Post. Officials there pledged a “zero tolerance” stance on the vehicles, and highway signs along Interstate 95 alerted people not to use off-road vehicles on the highway.  

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Previous coverage:

Channel 2's Sophia Choi speaks the riders and residents.

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