Bill cracking down on drag racing in Georgia heads to governor’s desk

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol downtown Atlanta, Tuesday, March 16, 2021.(Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a press conference at the Georgia State Capitol downtown Atlanta, Tuesday, March 16, 2021.(Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com)

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

Credit: Alyssa Pointer / Alyssa.Pointer@ajc.com

The Georgia Senate on Monday approved legislation that aims to crack down on drag racing in Georgia, sending it governor for his signature.

The legislation, endorsed by Gov. Brian Kemp, paves the way for new penalties for anyone who organizes, promotes or participates in street racing, a troubling trend that has driven a surge of complaints in Atlanta since the start of the pandemic.

House Bill 534 passed the Senate 46-3. Democratic state Sens. Kim Jackson of Stone Mountain, Gail Davenport of Jonesboro and Sally Harrell of Atlanta voted against the measure.

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At a press conference at the Capitol last month, the governor said he has “watched in horror” as street racing proliferates in Atlanta. Flanked by local sheriffs, Kemp said he couldn’t stand by as “our streets, highways and parking lots have become a free-for-all speedway for criminals.”

HB 534 would allow authorities to suspend the licenses of some violators for up to a year and calls for penalties as high as $5,000. Repeat offenders could face additional prison time under the proposal. It creates crimes for promoting drag racing and reckless stunt driving.

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