What is the penalty for street racing in NSW?

What is the definition of street racing?

Although on first thought, street racing would seem quite straight forward, being a race between two vehicles, the legal definition is less obvious and broader.

Section 115 of the Road Transport Act 2013 states:

A person must not organise, promote or take part in:

(a) any race between vehicles on a road, or

(b) any attempt to break any vehicle speed record on a road, or

(c) any trial of the speed of a vehicle on a road, or

(d) any competitive trial designed to test the skill of any vehicle driver or the reliability or mechanical condition of any vehicle on a road.

The evidence relied on by the prosecution is usually the eyewitness version of the police officer/s who it is alleged witnessed the racing.  They can very often make mistakes about what they see, particularly when the alleged offending occurs at night.

Very often a police officer can mistake two vehicles speeding alongside one another (particularly if the driver’s are young of age and appear to the police officer to be troublemakers) as street racing…but this is not always the case! How many times have you driven at excessive speed next to another driver?

There are other logical, clear indicators that would suggest that two vehicles are street racing:

  • Tyres burning out upon takeoff,
  • Constant overtaking by both cars,
  • Highly excessive speeds,
  • Highly aggressive driving,
  • Weaving in and out of lanes.

Unfortunately there are a few police officers that will exaggerate and embellish matters in the witness statements to bolster the prosecution case. It is important that a skilled lawyer cross examines the witness stringently, to test the accuracy of their evidence.

What is the penalty for street racing?

If you are found guilty for street racing, it is likely that you will lose your driver’s licence for 12 months. Further consequences of offending can include the confiscation of your motor vehicle.

Can my vehicle be confiscated for street racing?

Yes, the law permits police to confiscate your for up to three months if you are caught street racing. You can make an application to the local court if you are the owner of the vehicle, for the return of the vehicle.

For more information on Police pursuit and for case studies on some of the cases we have appeared in, go to:


As always, it is very important that you speak to an experienced traffic lawyer, if you have been charged with street racing.