Illegal drag racing is more commonly known in NSW as street racing. Section 41 of the Road Transport Safety and Traffic Management Act provides that a person who drives a car on a public street in such a manner as to cause sustained loss of grip of the wheels or for a speed competition can be fined up to ten penalty units.
The penalty may reach as high as 30 penalty units for the first offence if petrol, oil or some other flammable liquid is placed under the tyres and the penalty is 30 penalty units with imprisonment for the second or subsequent offence.
If a person is convicted under Section 41 of the Road Transport Safety and Traffic Management Act he is disqualified from driving for 12 months. A participant is also punished under Section 41 with 30 penalty units. Another penalty for street racing or illegal drag racing in NSW is the impoundment of the vehicle.
The legislature is especially concerned with the rising number of accidents and crashes that are connected with illegal drag racing. That is why it is now punishable to engage in illegal drag racing as it is a danger to the driver, passengers, onlookers, passers-by and to the rest of the community. The legislature hopes that with stricter penalties drivers will be deterred from engaging in illegal drag racing.
There are not that many defences against the charge of illegal drag racing because offenders are usually caught in flagrante delicto, meaning, they are caught in the act of committing the offence. Two possible defences for an accused are duress or necessity. An accused may prove that he drove under duress or that there is a necessity to drive at a fast speed. If these defences are raised by the accused, he would have to refute the police investigation results.
So, it would be the word of the accused against the police. In any case, however, the accused always enjoys the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise. Thus, the burden is still on the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed any of the acts that consist of illegal drag racing.
Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.