Governor Kemp wants to put a stop to Street Racing in Georgia
Last week Georgia Governor Brian Kemp set forth legislation to put an end to Street Racing in Georgia.
Ever since the invention of the automobile, people have been asking the question, can my car beat your car? “They’ve put a lot of money into their cars, lots of times souped them up,” per Atlanta Police Deputy Chief Michael O’Connor to the AJC “And there’s really nowhere they can go and do anything with their car.”
In cities such as Sandy Springs and Atlanta there has been new legislation to impose harsher sentences on those caught participating in such races.
O.C.G.A. 40-6-186 defines the crime of racing on highways or streets as:
1) “Drag race” means the operation of two or more vehicles from a point side by side at accelerated speeds in a competitive attempt to outdistance each other or the operation of one or more vehicles over a common selected course from the same point to the same point for the purpose of comparing the relative speeds or power of acceleration of such vehicle or vehicles within a certain distance or time limit.
(2) “Racing” means the use of one or more vehicles in an attempt to outgain, outdistance, or prevent another vehicle from passing, to arrive at a given destination ahead of another vehicle or vehicles, or to test the physical stamina or endurance of drivers over long-distance driving routes.
(b) No person shall drive any vehicle on a highway in this state in any race, speed competition or contest, drag race or acceleration contest, test of physical endurance, exhibition of speed or acceleration, or for the purpose of making a speed record, and no person shall in any manner participate in any such race, competition of speed, contest of speed, or test or exhibition of speed.
(c) Any person convicted of violating subsection (b) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
As explained above, a person has to knowingly and willfully enter into a contest with another driver to be guilty of this misdemeanor.
But how do the police know that this is a pre-planned or organized race, as opposed to one driver trying to go faster than another for a legitimate purpose, or without the agreement of the other driver to race? These are questions that typically should be answered by the prosecutor and the police before a charge can be assessed or proven. But with the advent of the crackdown on street racing…