On many occasions we have defended drivers and riders charged with street racing. Interestingly we often find the charge is based on subjective elements that Police say they observe, like the revving of engines, and the riders or drivers apparently looking at one another. The reality of the cases we’ve defended, have resulted from innocuous facts contrary to what you may have seen on TV and movies, and therefore when we challenge and press the magistrate to objectively consider the evidence there is little to support the charge.
Pleading not guilty to your street racing charge
The legislation governing the range of offences are essentially contained in s115 Road Transport Act 2013, which states:
115 Races, attempts on speed records and other speed trials
(cf STM Act, s 40)
(1) A person must not organise, promote or take part in:
- (a) any race between vehicles on a road, or
- (b) any attempt to break any vehicle speed record on a road, or
- (c) any trial of the speed of a vehicle on a road […]
Maximum penalty: 30 penalty units (in the case of a first offence) or 30 penalty units or imprisonment for 9 months or both (in the case of a second or subsequent offence) […]
(4) If a person is convicted by a court of an offence against this section in relation to a motor vehicle or trailer:
- (a) except as provided by paragraph (b)—the person is disqualified from holding a driver licence by the conviction and without any specific order of a court for 12 months, or
- (b) if the court at the time of the conviction thinks fit to order a shorter or a longer period of disqualification—the person is disqualified from holding a driver licence for the period specified in the order.
(5) Any disqualification under this section is in addition to any penalty imposed for the offence.
We’ve also come across a number of cases where two vehicles are travelling side by side along a multi-lane road or leaving a set of lights and just because they might be travelling side by side does not mean there is a street race. Accordingly police may pad it up with the revving of engines, drivers looking at each other, and acceleration, to bolster the argument of a street race. Stay safe, be weary of these things, and know your rights.