Offence provision

Street racing, burn outs and aggravated burn outs are all offences under sections 115 and 116 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW).

Speeding by more than 45km/h is an offence under rule 20 of the Road Rules 2014 (NSW).


What is hoon driving?

“Hoon driving” covers many different types of driving, including:

  • Burn outs – where a driver causes the wheels of their motor vehicle to lose traction.
  • Street racing (including drag racing) – where two or more people compete over who can drive their car the fastest or who can reach a particular point on the road first.
  • High speed driving – where the driver breaches the speed limit by more than 45km/h.


What are aggravated burn out offences?

Aggravated burn out offences are considered more serious than simple burn out offences. They include:

  • Causing a burn out knowing that petrol, oil, diesel, or some other flammable liquid has been placed on the road.
  • Repeatedly performing burn outs.
  • Performing burn outs knowing that it will interfere with the peacefulness of the area, or make the place unsafe.
  • Organising, promoting, or encouraging another person to participate in burn outs.
  • Photographing or filming burn outs to encourage participation.


Licence suspension

If you are charged with street racing or an aggravated burn offence, the police can suspend and confiscate your licence within 48 hours of the charge. The suspension will remain in place until the offence is heard by a court. If your licence is disqualified by the court, the magistrate will consider the licence suspension in deciding the disqualification period.

Both a licence suspension and disqualification prohibit you from driving for the specified period. While a licence suspension can be imposed by the RMS or NSW Police without a formal conviction for the offence, a licence disqualification is imposed by a court as part of the penalty for a formal conviction.


Plate confiscation

If you are charged with street racing, high speed driving or an aggravated burn out offence, NSW Police can also confiscate the car, confiscate the number plates, or give you a notice requiring you to bring the vehicle to a specified location within 10 days.

The car may be impounded, or the plates confiscated, for up to three months. If you are charged with a second offence, the car may be forfeited to the state and sold, or released to Transport for NSW for crash testing.


Penalties for hooning offences in NSW

The penalties for hooning offences vary depending on the offence. For a simple burn out offence the maximum penalty is a $1,110 fine.

Penalties for other offences are outlined below.


Speed racing and aggravated burn out penalties

PenaltyFirst offenceSubsequent offence
Maximum fine$3,300$3,300
Maximum term of imprisonment N/A9 months
Automatic disqualification 1 year1 year
Immediate licence suspensionYesYes


High speed driving penalties

PenaltyLight vehicle Heavy vehicle
Maximum fine$2,530$3,740
Maximum term of imprisonment N/AN/A
Automatic disqualification 6 months6 months
Immediate licence suspensionYesYes


Consequences of conviction

If you are convicted of street racing, high speed driving, or aggravated burn out offences, this will be noted on your criminal record, and your licence will be disqualified.  The automatic disqualification period will apply unless the court makes a specific order.

These consequences can be avoided if the court applies section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.


Traffic Offender Intervention Program

The court may give you a more lenient sentence if you participate in the Traffic Offender Intervention Program. This program covers traffic laws and rules, and the potential consequences of breaching the laws. When the course is finished, a certificate will be sent to the court, and it can be considered in determining the sentence.


Frequently Asked Questions

How severe is the charge against you?

Hooning offences are considered serious, “anti-social” offences because of the risks posed to the safety of other road users. Speed racing and aggravated burn out offences can carry terms of imprisonment, and almost all of these offences will involve immediate licence suspension and possible vehicle impoundment.

It can be difficult to avoid these charges, particularly as the police have the power to take immediate roadside action. It is important that you seek legal advice as soon as you can after you have been charged.

What happens to my car if my licence is immediately suspended?

You are not allowed to drive if your licence is suspended. If you are with a licensed passenger, they can drive your car, otherwise the vehicle must be left parked at a safe roadside location until collection can be organised.

How can I defend a charge of street racing?

There are several grounds on which we can defend a charge of street racing. Depending on the circumstances of your case, we can argue that:

  • You had the written approval of the police to hold the race/speed trial,
  • You did not organise, promote or take part in any race between vehicles on a road, or
  • You did not organise, promote or take part in any speed trial of a vehicle on a road.

How do I defend a burn out charge?

Again, there are a number of grounds on which we can defend this charge.

Most importantly, under the Road Transport Act we can argued that you did not deliberately cause the burn out.  Other available defences would be based on your knowledge or intentions at the time, and may include:

  • That you did not know that petrol, oil, diesel or another flammable liquid was under the tyres of your car. Knowledge is an essential element of the offence.
  • That you did not film or photograph the burn out for the purpose of organising or promoting the participation. It is not an offence to film someone performing a burn out – it is only an offence if you filmed or photographed for the purpose of organising or promoting the activity.

How can we help?

We are experienced in successfully defending street racing and hoon driving charges.

Book a free consultation or call us on 1300 668 484 for 24/7 legal advice.