The Consequences of Street Racing


Street racing is an unsanctioned and illegal form of auto racing. Ever since the invention of vehicles over a century ago, people have engaged in street races. In the 1960's and 1970's, muscle cars with big block engines became trendy and known for their speed and power. This prompted owners of these vehicles to test the speed by participating in street racing. Street racing is not only illegal, but it is extremely dangerous. As with any dangerous activity, there are consequences. Sometimes these consequences are tragic.

Fines and Imprisonment

  • If you are caught street racing by law enforcement, you will face a penalty. A street racing violation is far more serious than a standard traffic citation. In 2006, the state of California informed residents that street racing was a felony as opposed to misdemeanor. In some states, street racing is still a misdemeanor; however, the punishment is still strict.

    If you cause a fatality due to street racing, you could spend as many as 10 years in prison if not more. Multiple offenders may face up to six months in prison even if they do not inflict death or harm on another person. In many states, you could face a fine of up to $1,000 even if you are a first-time offender.

License Suspension and Impoundment

  • In addition to paying a fine, you could lose your driver's license if convicted of street racing. In some cases, driving privileges could remain in a revoked status for up to one year.

    In many states, law enforcement will impound your car if they apprehend you for street racing. The cost to recuperate your vehicle is expensive, sometimes totaling $500 or more depending on how long the car remains at the lot.

Death and Injury

  • While paying fines and losing your driver's license is discomforting, it pales in comparison to the effect of inflicting injury or even death on another human being. Driving a car is hazardous, but the risk magnifies when you are participating in a street race. A simple mistake by one of the drivers could trigger a tragic accident. A flat tire or even a mechanical failure could initiate an accident. Injuries and fatalities are not limited to participants of street racing. The illegal sport of street racing is a social event in some cases, so there are spectators who could face serious bodily injuries or death.

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  • Photo Credit Bright yellow and black American muscle car image by Christopher Dodge from police car up close image by Aaron Kohr from multi-coloured cars image by Ivan Hafizov from emergency ambulance image by JASON WINTER from
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