National News

Atlanta city leaders work to stiffen penalties for reckless ATV riders

Posted June 21

— Some people call it recreation while others call it reckless. ATV riders who illegally speed down city streets, stopping traffic and, at times, endangering drivers. Drivers like Debton Williams.

"My safety is the most important thing to me. I have kids at home. I have a wife at home. I need to get home to them," said Williams.

Drivers safety is the reason why city leaders are working to stiffen penalties for anybody caught riding an ATV or personal transportation device, like a moped, on city property.

Currently, the penalty for a rider caught on one of those transportation devices faces a $250 fine. If this new ordinance is approved, the fine would increase by 400 percent, up to $1,000.

A second violation, currently a $500 fine, would double to $1,000 but would also net the culprit a stay in jail.

The owner of Ryding Dirty Power Sports says he's not only concerned for the safety of drivers but also the safety of riders, saying many times they don't wear the proper equipment.

Protection of riders isn't mentioned in the ordinance, however council members will discuss details in the coming days. If it's approved, Atlanta Police says it will be ready with an enforcement strategy.

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