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Speed Contests and Racing

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) 1182 prohibits competing in motor vehicle races unless permitted explicitly by VTL 1182(a) or VTL 1630, 1640, 1642, or 1660. Violations of VTL 1182 are misdemeanors with a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a fine of $500.00 unless one is prosecuted for racing and convicted twice in the same year, in that case the maximum penalty increases to a jail sentence of 6 months in jail and a fine of $700.00.

If you or someone you love has been arrested or ticketed for racing, please call our experienced New York traffic attorneys. We can fight your charges and protect your rights. Call us today for a free consultation.

As racing obviously presents significant dangers to the drivers involved and others on the road, it has relatively strict penalties for a traffic offense. For those with a desire to race there may be better options than illegal street racing. Instead of racing in the street it may be wise to reach out to local authorities to inquire about securing a license to hold a race. The legislature of any municipality can grant licenses or permit racing within their jurisdiction.

Speeding while driving with another vehicle does not constitute racing. In order for the crime of racing as per VTL 1182 to be proven there must have been some sort of plan for both parties to race prior to the race. The plan does not need to be explicit, the plan may be implied based on the fact of the course of the race and the circumstances of how the defendants were driving. Eyewitness testimony can also be used to verify the facts needed to prosecute racers.

When people are engaged in a race the whole length of the race must be patrolled by the police. There are no exceptions to this. People who wish to obtain a permit or license to hold a race on public roads may need to bear the cost of increased police patrols and safety activity beyond preparing the racecourse. Once a permit or license is secured all racers are exempted from the all traffic laws. The only stipulation is that racers must exercise due care.

The requirement that racers first obtain a permit and proceed with due care is important to people who may end up injured in illegal street races. New York’s public policy prohibits recovery for personal injuries where the injuries are caused by breaking the law flagrantly, and where the conduct that caused the accident and violated the law, was a dangerous endeavor that could not be warranted under the set of facts at the time. In one case plaintiffs tried to recover for injuries caused when they raced at speeds greater than 100 miles per hour for between 2 and 3 miles. The road they raced on was filled with potholes and it was not even. The plaintiffs in this case experienced highly debilitating injuries. The court reasoned that due to the danger that the drag race posed to the public, and the fact that the plaintiffs admitted to participating in the illegal drag race, their recovery should be prohibited.

If you or someone you love has been charged with racing please call our experienced New York traffic attorneys. Additionally, if you or someone you love has been hurt due to the careless acts of others who were engaged in a race or you are being sued for hurting another person while you were participating in a race, call our experienced New York personal injury attorneys today. We may be able to help you achieve the most favorable outcome of your case given the facts and circumstances. Call us today for a free consultation.

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