KNO member frustrated by dirt bikesPhoto of a dirt bike and ATV rally held on Aug. 17. Photo provided by Earl Williamson
Earl Williamson says something needs to be done to stop future dirt bike rallies like the one that occurred in Atlanta on Aug. 17.
Williamson, a member of the Kirkwood Neighbors’ Organization, spoke out about the issue during the Aug. 26 Neighborhood Planning Unit – O meeting, a citizens’ advisory board that weighs in on zoning and land use issues.
“Someone is going to get killed,” Williamson said.
Williamson said that on Aug. 17 more than 100 dirt bikes and ATVs tore through Coan Park in addition to other police zones. Atlanta Police reported receiving “dozens of reckless driving calls” throughout the city.
Here’s video of the event posted on YouTube:
This kind of activity is dangerous, Williamson said.
“Quads are on-street illegal, period,” Williamson said. “Most of the motorcycles did not have licenses. They were also reported on streets Moreland Avenue, Anniston Avenue, Whitefoord, Hosea Williams and neighborhoods Kirkwood, Ormewood, and Edgewood. They were running red lights, going the wrong way (on the) wrong side, forcing bicyclists off the road, and pedestrians off of sidewalks. Risk of bystander injury was significant. An APD car and two officers were in attendance and were not seen to engage the individuals (witnesses had the impression that APD was providing escort). We do not know what zone they were from.”
Atlanta Police Officers in Zone 3 made one arrest, Kenneth Copeland, on an outstanding warrant.
Creative Loafing profiled the group that organized the event, called ATL Bike Life, in a recent article. The article says the Aug. 17 event was dubbed Bike Life Sunday. Club members tell Creative Loafing that the group keeps them out of more serious trouble, like gang activities. To read the full story, click here.
Williamson said unless police take a harder stance on the issue, these illegal street rides will continue.
A man claiming to be a member of the group told CBS 46 Atlanta that there are plans for future rides and that riders from other states are expected to attend. To read that story, click here.