Under section 5A of the Road Transport (Safety and Traffic Management) Act 1999 it is an offence in the ACT to participate in street racing other than with the written approval of the government.
Street racing offence
To convict you of an offence under this section, the police must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you:
- Organised, promoted or otherwise took part in:
- A race between vehicles;
- An attempt to break a vehicle’s speed record;
- A trial of maximum speed or acceleration; or
- A competitive trial to test the skill of a driver, the reliability or mechanical conditions of a vehicle;
- On a road or road-related area.
When giving written approval to such an event, Access Canberra can impose any conditions that it believes is necessary. Access Canberra must consider the views of those affected by the decision to allow or refuse the application and how the safety and inconvenience of the public will be affected. It is also an offence to contravene any condition of approval.
The sentencing starting point is for the court to record a conviction, issue a fine and impose a period of disqualification. The maximum fine under this section is 20 penalty units ($3200). If this is a first offence, the automatic period of disqualification is three months. If this is a repeat offence, the automatic period of disqualification is 12 months but the court can impose a longer ban.
Regardless of how bad a person’s traffic record is, the court has discretion as to whether to record a conviction. If the court decides not to record a conviction, they will not be disqualified from driving. Section 17 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 allows a court that finds a person guilty of an offence to exercise discretion and not impose a conviction against them.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal.