What are Street Racing and Hoon Offences?

In NSW, it is an offence to participate in street racing or other “hoon” driving behaviour, such as burnouts or wheelies.

If you are charged, not only will you face dangerous driving penalties, but you could also have your number plate confiscated immediately or your car impounded for three months by the police. If you are found guilty of a second offence within five years, your car may be forfeited permanently to the police.

It also an offence to exceed the speed limit by more than 45km/h, or become involved in a police chase under Skye’s Law.

What are the penalties for street racing and hoon offences?

In addition to the immediate sanctions potentially imposed by the police, penalties for street racing and hoon offences in NSW are:

First major offence within 5 years
Maximum fine $3,300
Automatic disqualification 12 months
Maximum prison sentence N/A
Second major offence within 5 years
Maximum fine $3,300
Automatic disqualification 12 months
Maximum prison sentence 9 months

 

Speeding over 45km/h

You will also face significant penalties if you are caught exceeding the speed limit by more than 45km/h by the police. The fine ranges between $2,300 and $3,400, and your driver’s licence will be disqualified for a minimum period of six months. You will also lose a substantial number of demerit points.

 

Skye ’s Law

The offence of engaging in a police pursuit in NSW is also referred to as Skye’s Law, after Sydney toddler Skye Sassine, who was killed when a driver attempting to evade police crashed into her parents’ car. If you are charged with a breach of Skye’s Law, you may be imprisoned for up to three years, or five years if this is your second or subsequent offence within the last five years. You will also be disqualified from holding a driver’s licence for a minimum of one year, with an automatic disqualification period of three years.

For a successful prosecution, the police must be able to prove that you were aware that there were police in pursuit and that you ought to have stopped driving, but failed to do so, and as a result drove recklessly or dangerously.

 

How severe is the charge against you?

Hoon laws in NSW have become a hot topic in recent years. Offences under these laws are often considered to be anti-social because of the risks posed to the safety of other road users.
It can be difficult to avoid these types of charges, particularly noting the powers of the police to take immediate roadside action.

However, it can be hard for the prosecution to successfully prove your involvement in a street race or other hoon offence unless you are caught on CCTV footage or directly observed. It is therefore important that you seek legal advice as soon as you can after you have been charged.

 

Traffic Offender Intervention Program

If you are found guilty of street racing or a hoon offence in NSW, a court may look favourably on you if you have participated in the Traffic Offender Intervention Program, an educational course aimed at providing better information about traffic rules and requirements.

 

More information about the Traffic Offender Intervention Program.

These types of offences are taken seriously by the court. If you are facing charges, contact one of our traffic lawyers, who can advise you of the penalties you may face, possible defences, and whether a section 10 is a possibility.