Street Racing Laws in California

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California has a strong racing culture.

  In fact, according to an Internet encyclopedia, Wikipedia, Southern California is considered to be the birthplace of drag racing.  Yet, the state of California considers street racing an illegal activity.  This is because street racing leads to injuries and deaths, many a times of absolutely innocent people, including police officers.  Dominique Valiquet from the Law and Government Division of the Library of Parliament wrote that there were 82 deaths in 2000, 143 deaths in 2001, 142 deaths in 2002, 115 deaths in 2003, and 125 deaths in 2004 caused by street racing across the United States.According to the About: Los Angeles website covering “New California Vehicle Laws for 2006,” if a person is convicted of engaging in street racing and causing bodily injury in the process to a person other than himself, he or she can be jailed for at least 30 days but less than 6 months.  Moreover, the individual caught in the act can be fined.

 Punishment would include community service of 40 hours to boot.  Lastly, the privilege to operate a motor vehicle may be suspended for 90 days or up to 6 months.  In other words, the driving license may be restricted.J. Clar wrote in the Winter 2003 volume of the McGeorge Law Journal that even those people in California who aid or abet a street racing contest can be charged with a misdemeanor.

  Besides, individuals who participate in street racing may have their vehicles impounded for up to 30 days, with a cost of $1500 to retrieve them.  The fine included in the punishment for street racing may be as much as $1000.  What is more, the punishment for street racing could be a month or more in county jail plus fine if the authorities decide that only jail or only a fine is not enough as a deterrent for future street racing behavior on the part of certain individuals.  In short, punishment for illegal street racing may be severe. 

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