Drag racing problems in Antioch likely driven by COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

ANTIOCH, Tenn. (WKRN) — Since the spring, neighbors in Southeast Nashville have reported noisy drag racing on the weekends.

“Really loud engines, screeking, mufflers,” Antoine Weir said. “You can hear it pretty much everywhere.”

Weir said it would happen all hours of the night as people drove up and down areas near Bell Road and Murfreesboro Pike.

District 32 Councilwoman Joy Styles said it was a constant problem that she got complaints about sometimes daily. And she would forward those messages over to Metro Police.

“And they realized when they went how serious the issue was, how many cars are actually coming together, and then they scatter of course when they sense that the police are coming,” Styles said.

Styles said a team of police was quickly formed over the summer to catch where groups are meeting before races begin.

“They’re tracking these drivers. They’re finding where they’re meeting and they’re trying to show up ahead of time,” Styles said.

A likely reason based on the timing and frequency of the races, was COVID-19, according to Styles.

“I’d say we had speeding issues before the pandemic, but when the city shutdown it gave people the idea that they had free reign everywhere,” Styles said. “So you had cars showing up for many car shows in the mall parking lot. Sometimes it would be to just walk around and look at each other’s cars and then other times they were doing donuts.”

But Styles also took things a step forward last night to put the breaks on these problems. A bill she sponsored had it’s first reading at the metro city council meeting.

“For us to be able to utilize license plate scanners specifically for drag racing,” Styles said.

A sting operation last weekend resulted in several citations and arrests in Southeast Nashville. Styles is hoping problems diminish because of an increased police presence.

This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

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