Many people know the intoxication that increased speed can cause. This is one of the reasons why racing games, which can be played on game consoles or the computer, are so extremely popular. Although these games are becoming more and more realistic and thanks to virtual reality can even be felt in the body, there are still people for whom this kick is not enough. You prefer to experience the real kick caused by the adrenaline in your body in reality. Fortunately, however, there is in Germany the Speed limit, which is defined in the road traffic regulations. However, just as there is this regulation, there are also people who do not adhere to the speed limit while wishing they were a racing driver. Be it “The Fast and the Furios” as a role model or similar movies in which illegal street racing is thematized, the illegal street racing has also found its way into Germany and is unfortunately more than just a trend.
Illegal street racing has always existed in the past. Anyone familiar with the film “Cannonball” starring Burt Reynolds will know that there are always people to whom road safety does not mean as much as the thrill of speed. This film even has a real background story, which can be traced back to Edwin George Baker. The man who became famous in America as Cannonball Baker covered the distance between the American West Coast and the American East Coast in only 11 days. Baker thus laid a foundation for illegal street racing, which was initially very widespread in America and now also takes place in Europe.
If you ask a person why he takes part in an illegal street race, you will get a stereotypical answer. The howling of the engine, the tension before the start and the challenge to the driving skills are the main reasons why such road races are organized at all. For those who drive a high horsepower vehicle, the illegal road race gives you the opportunity to push this vehicle to its limits in terms of speed. This possibility does not exist in Germany in the public road traffic and that is also good, because by speeding the life of the other participants in the road traffic is massively endangered. Not to mention the racer’s own life at this point. It is not uncommon for illegal street races to end in a massive traffic accident, in which the beautiful vehicles are completely destroyed and many an innocent person loses their lives. No question – illegal street racing is not a harmless pastime and accordingly the law is very tough on the organizers as well as on the participants of illegal street races.
The problem that the law enforcement officers have
In the recent past, a vital European street racing scene has developed, which is difficult for the legislator to control. Especially the variant of speedrunning, where a racer has to cover a certain distance with his vehicle within a short period of time, is very popular and extremely dangerous. Racing games such as “Need for Speed” and the “Fast and Furios movies” have contributed, even if unintentionally, to a very positive image for this type of racing. Anyone can participate who is in the right place at the right time and can bring the financial part of the prize money with them.
The law enforcers do not sleep
Even if the lawmakers still have their problems with the illegal street racing, the responsible authorities have reacted. Meanwhile, planned events are canceled by the police, which even has special units for such cases. The positive image that illegal street racing had in the past is starting to crumble. Events like the worldwide notorious Gumball 3000, which are organized as races around the world, have less and less sponsors. In addition to the entry fee of 40.000 euros, a participant in such an event must reckon with considerable legal consequences, which can even be pronounced as a custodial sentence. Unlike in the movie “Cannonball” with Burt Reynolds, the law enforcement officers in this country are not so easily fooled and take absolutely no joke when it comes to illegal races!
From a legal point of view, a car race is forbidden on the basis of § 29 paragraph 1 of the StVO (German traffic regulations).
For those persons who act as organizers of an illegal car race or as participants, there is not only the threat of a fine. In fact, such behavior is also subject to criminal law, so that imprisonment of up to 2 years and fines can be imposed. Moreover, it is also possible that a revocation of the driver’s license can be imposed as a consequence of the behavior. Three points in the central traffic register are as certain as the Amen in the church. The penalty can even increase if other road users were endangered by the illegal car race. In such a case can threaten five years imprisonment. If a person was injured during the illegal street race, a prison sentence of up to ten years may be imposed.
With regard to illegal street racing, traffic law imposes unambiguous prohibitions on both the organization and participation in any form. An MPU can also be ordered if the offender is a first offender and has not yet reached the maximum of eight points in the central traffic register.
The law enforcement officers have the right to seize the vehicle of a person who wants to take part in an illegal road race, if they have knowledge of it. This measure is taken in the course of danger prevention. Moreover, illegal street racing usually has civil consequences as well. A person who has suffered damage to life, limb or property as a result of an illegal street race can claim compensation for damages. If participants in illegal street racing have suffered such damages, there is no mutual interacting liability. This means that the participants will have to bear the costs of their damages on their own.
From an insurance standpoint, participation in an illegal street race constitutes a release from liability. This means that the insurer is not obliged to compensate for the damage caused. As a rule, insurance companies also perceive this agreement and accordingly do not provide compensation for the damage caused. All these things should be considered in advance before participating in an illegal street race. Reason may well prevail when it comes to the intoxication of speed, but participating in or organizing an illegal street race should never even be an option that an adult person would consider. If you have participated in an illegal street race or have suffered damages to your body or property as a result of an illegal street race, you will definitely need a good and experienced lawyer. As an injured person, your legal expenses insurance, if you have it, will cover the cost of legal advice as well as attorney services. As an experienced law firm, we are happy to provide you with our legal expertise. If in the course of civil proceedings the person who caused the damage is convicted, your insurance company will claim the costs back from the person who caused the damage. You can therefore take advantage of our legal assistance without any risk, both out of court and in court.