Illegal car racing

It comes however also again and again that older men deliver themselves races. They often want to compensate for a lack of self-confidence and show that they are the best, the strongest, the best.

Illegal car racing

Unfortunately, only a few days pass regularly until another illegal car race with dangerous trial of strength and often fatal consequences for bystanders is published in the media. It is difficult to give only the sober facts about the accident and its consequences without accusing the nonsensical behavior of some “would-be racers”, who obviously put the lives and health of others at risk without thinking and only for their own fun.

To bring it soberly to the point:

The limit may only be reached on the race track! After all, every racing driver knows that. Private or personal races in public traffic must not be tolerated by anyone, especially not by friends and acquaintances of the “pseudo-racers”, who often provide the framework for these impersonation events and even encourage the athletes to perform questionable feats.

Legal consequences

Traffic accident - car crash

Already in connection with the trial against the men who became known as “Kudamm speeders”, some federal states demanded that the mere participation in an illegal motor vehicle race punishable by imprisonment as a punishable offense. With the 56. Criminal Law Amendment Act of 30.09.2017 (BGBl I, page 3532), issued on 12.10.2017, Entering the 13.10.2017, was § Section 315d of the Criminal Code as follows newly introduced:

§ 315d StGB – Prohibited motor vehicle racing

(1) Whoever in road traffic

  1. organizes or conducts a motor vehicle race that is not permitted,
  2. participates as a motor vehicle driver in a motor vehicle race that is not permitted, or
  3. is moving as a motor vehicle driver with inappropriate speed and grossly contrary to traffic regulations and recklessly in order to reach the highest possible speed, is punished with imprisonment for up to two years or with a fine.

(2) Whoever in the cases of paragraph 1 number 2 or 3 endangers life or limb of another person or foreign property of significant value, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine.

(3) The attempt shall be punishable in the cases referred to in subsection (1)(1) of this section.

(4) Any person who negligently causes the danger in the cases referred to in subsection (2) shall be liable to a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or to a monetary penalty.

(5) If, in the cases referred to in paragraph (2), the offender causes by the act the death or serious injury to the health of another person or injury to the health of a large number of people, the penalty shall be imprisonment for a term of one year to ten years, and in less serious cases imprisonment for a term of six months to five years.

At the same time, the previous § 29 para. 1 StVO (Road Traffic Regulations) “Racing with motor vehicles is prohibited” cancelled:

§ 29 StVO – Excessive use of the road

(2) Events for which roads are used more than is customary for traffic, especially motor vehicle races, require permission. This is the case when the use of the road for traffic is restricted because of the number or behavior of the participants or the driving style of the vehicles involved; motor vehicles in a closed formation always take up more of the road than is usual for traffic. Organizers are responsible for ensuring that traffic regulations and any conditions and requirements are observed.

Info

In particularly serious cases of prohibited racing, for example, if the killing or serious damage to the health of a person is the consequence of this act, the act can become a crime.

The driver is threatened in any case in addition to the penalty under § 315d StGB

  • up to three points,
  • the revocation of the driver’s license and
  • the confiscation of his vehicle or the vehicle of another with which he has committed the offense.

§ 315d StGB is not only directed at the participant of a race, but also against the Organizer. The driver of the motor vehicle who roughly contrary to traffic regulations and reckless Exceeds the speed limit of his vehicle without participating in a race. Thereby acts grossly contrary to traffic regulations, who objectively particularly dangerous violated traffic regulations. A person acts recklessly if he or she selfish reasons deliberately disregards his duties to other road users or indifferent towards others is.

The high penalty of § 315d StGB is not only about the mere punishment of excessive speed. The participants of forbidden motor vehicle races often completely overestimate themselves and in the “adrenaline rush” ignore risks for themselves and in particular also third parties. For them, the races have a special (unacceptable) meaning and effect in the mutual trial of strength and in the unconditional desire to win. Thereby, intentionally or partly negligently, the other traffic rules are violated in a blatant manner.

Further possible criminal offences

Coercion

Negligent bodily injury

unauthorized removal from the scene of an accident

Driving license – revocation and threat of MPU

You have witnessed an illegal car race?

Then inform the police under the emergency number 110!

Explanatory video on illegal car racing

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How can you recognize illegal car races and what can you do about it??

Preparation of the races

  • Usually more than two vehicles sog. “Crowd of vehicles”
  • Vehicles spread out over all available lanes / breakdown lanes also possible
  • Before speed reduction usually still by means of warning flashers “warned”
  • Groundless braking / brake lights (longer than one second) of the traffic ahead can be seen on all vehicles
  • Speed is noticeably slowed down; sometimes to a standstill
  • Two to three vehicles can be seen positioning themselves in front of the vehicles “slowing down” the traffic behind them
  • If a clear path is created to the front, the high-speed race takes place
  • The previously outbraking also accelerate up to the maximum speed

racing situation

  • Several vehicles approach each other at “top speed”
  • “High beam” is used as a “clearer” (flashing lights)
  • Jumping gaps” / overtaking on the right / close driving by race participants is to be expected
  • Unforeseen braking maneuvers / evasive maneuvers with the traffic ahead are to be expected

Important for witnesses and accident participants

  • React calmly and attentively, do not be provoked
  • Be sure to keep a sufficient distance from all parties involved, be ready to brake at all times
  • Change lanes only with the greatest possible care (following race participants are not excluded)
  • The misconduct of other bystanders is to be expected
  • If necessary, warn following traffic using hazard warning lights
  • Immediately notify the police via 110

Important for the police

  • Note date and time
  • Take down license plate number
  • Note vehicle type and color
  • Is a personal description of the occupants possible?
  • Remember speed during the “braking out” / “braking out” to a standstill
  • Memory note about the overall course of events
  • Were you obstructed or endangered?
  • If necessary, seek a parking space for the message

Case studies

Stuttgart 2019 – Five-year juvenile sentence in Jaguar trial

The Stuttgart Regional Court sentenced the 21-year-old driver of a borrowed Jaguar to five years in juvenile detention after a traffic accident in which two people were killed. First verdict nationwide after a fatal traffic accident in which section 315 d was applied.

Speeding accident Stuttgart

On 6. March 2019, the then 20-year-old was speeding out of town at 160 km/h in a 550-hp borrowed Jaguar on Stuttgart’s Rosensteinstrasse and collided with a small car during an evasive maneuver. Both occupants in the small car died at the scene of the accident.

Nationwide, section 315 d, which was introduced in 2017, has now been applied in a judgment for the first time. According to this, not only participants in illegal car races, but also drivers who drive “contrary to traffic regulations and recklessly” “in order to achieve the highest possible speed” can be punished with up to ten years in prison in the event of a fatal outcome. In the case of the 21-year-old, the juvenile criminal law was applied, which provides for prison sentences only in exceptional cases. He will also have to surrender his driver’s license for four years at the end of his sentence.

The public prosecutor’s office had charged him with murder, but the chamber could not find a conditional charge of homicide. Nevertheless, the judge declared that the defendant bore the moral and criminal guilt for the death of two people.
However, the issue of murder is not finally off the table in Stuttgart, as the verdict is not yet legally binding. The plaintiffs have already announced their intention to appeal the case.

Source: Press releases of the Stuttgarter Zeitung of 16. and 20.11.19, Image: Kohls/SDMG/dpa

Berlin 2017 – Two defendants are convicted of murder

In Berlin, two “Kudamm speeders” were sentenced to life in prison for murder in February 2017.

According to the conviction of the jury chamber of the Berlin Regional Court, a 28-year-old man and a 25-year-old man caused a traffic jam on 1. February 2016 in the city center of Berlin a serious accident, as a result of which a 69-year-old bystander died. The accused would have fulfilled the murder characteristic of the homicidal means of murder. They had not been able to control their heavy and powerful cars, putting a large number of people in danger.

From the course of the crime:
Eleven red lights were run when both defendants – H. H. in an Audi A6 TDI with 224 hp and M. N. in a Mercedes AMG with 380hp – delivered a stabbing on Kurfurstendamm and Tauentzienstrasse. With depressed gas pedals and with up to 170 kilometers per hour they had raced over the boulevard. The highly dangerous chase stretched over two and a half kilometers. In the end, there was a powerful bang, a tragedy in which a 69-year-old man was killed in his jeep. He had green when the car driven by H. H. Drilled the Audi into the side of the car. The body of the accident victim was hurled 70 meters. M. N. on the adjacent lane crashed into a stone raised bed, his car flew meters through the air. Like his opponent, he was uninjured.

From the reasons for the verdict:
It was not a race on a country road, but on a main road in the old West Berlin center, the judge clarifies. The Kudamm is also a promenade at night.

  • Both speeders were using homicidal tools with their high-powered cars.
  • They accepted the deadly consequences. Also indifference is enough (not only the will) to speak of an intention to kill.

That is why a murder conviction was handed down. And also in a further point the court takes action with all severity. Both defendants may never drive a vehicle again. The chamber imposes a lifetime ban on driving license. Driving bans of a maximum of five years are customary. Here the chamber focuses on the personality of the defendants. They have each been fined several times in recent years, u.a. because of grass. In Youtube videos, one of the defendants expresses his attitude unequivocally: “We fuck the road and the fucking world“, he yells into the camera and says “bastard traffic lights” cannot stop him.

Maximum penalty after a fatal car ride – there has never been anything like this in Germany before. In such cases, the people who caused the accidents usually remain free.

Source: Sudwest Presse

Hagen 2016 – Illegal car racing

At the intersection near the Fernuniversitat Hagen, a 46-year-old driver and a 33-year-old were at the traffic lights and probably spontaneously made up an “acceleration race”, according to the findings of the police. It was not yet clear whether they knew each other. When the traffic light turned green, they sped straight ahead. The speed limit on the four-lane road is 50 km/h – but they must have been traveling almost twice that speed. After about 600 meters, a fatal chain reaction began behind a slight right-hand bend.

A 76-year-old woman comes with her small car from the parking strip at the edge of the road, the suspected speeders try to avoid, the 46-year-old loses control and collides on the opposite lane with the car of the 37-year-old mother. She and her two children are seriously injured. Her car crashed into the car of a 30-year-old, which flipped onto its side. This driver is also seriously injured. The Hagen police speak of “inconceivable forces” that must have acted on the cars. It will take some time to unravel everything. It must be clarified, who was involved with which shares of the guilt.

Source: dpa – picture and excerpts of the information about the accident on 19.06.2016 in Hagen

Karlsruhe 2015 – Suspected street racing

According to witnesses, two drivers were racing each other. On an intersection there was finally a collision. According to police investigations, a whole chain of accidents occurred. According to the report, two men, aged 21 and 22, were speeding their cars one behind the other on a four-lane road heading out of town and changed lanes several times. At an intersection with a red light, a 49-year-old man was standing with his car in the left lane of traffic. A 45-year-old woman approached in her car in the right lane of the road. At the change to “green” the 21-year-old raced up and tried to overtake the staggered approaching cars with an abrupt lane change. He grazed both cars and probably set the momentous accident in motion.

The 45-year-old woman crashed her car into a lamppost. The 49-year-old’s car was rammed sideways by the 22-year-old’s car. Subsequently, the car of the young man collided head-on with an oncoming car, which overturned. Its 48-year-old driver was seriously injured, as well as the 49-year-old. The 45-year-old woman escaped with minor injuries. In the car of the 22-year-old suspected race participant were passengers aged 20 and 22 years. All were injured. The 21-year-old initially fled. However, the police were able to stop him a short time later. The 21-year-old was not injured. The two young men who, according to witnesses, had organized the illegal race are facing criminal proceedings for endangering road traffic and negligent physical injury. The younger man is also charged with hit and run. Whether alcohol or drugs were involved was not known at first.

Racing outside cities

The problem is also known outside cities. In October 2015, for example, several cars had already lined up for a race at a tunnel in the Harz Mountains when the police intervened. Around 300 spectators had been in a party mood waited at both ends of the tunnel.

There are even preferred “race tracks”. For example, on the A81 in Baden-Wurttemberg between the Hegau interchange and the Engen exit, speeding competitions are frequently observed, not infrequently by drivers from neighboring Switzerland who want to test their high-performance vehicles on the stretch without speed limits. “If you have a car with 400 horsepower and fully accelerate from the Hegau intersection, they have 250 to 300 kilometers per hour on it at Engen,” said the police spokesman for the Constance police headquarters. “The smallest mistake can be fatal, not to mention the unforeseeable reactions of other road users who suddenly see such a speeding driver behind them.” Accidents are then inevitable.

Insurance

Hull insurance is free of claims, but liability demands recourse

In the case of accidents caused by grossly negligent behavior, comprehensive insurers are regularly not required to pay out. This is especially understandable with illegal car races. Gross negligence occurs when the rules of the road are violated in a particular way, due care is disregarded to a great extent or is not observed, which is obvious to everyone. The injured party, however, regularly receives the benefit of the motor vehicle liability insurance. Because of his illegal behavior the liability threatens however to take the insured causer in recourse. By the way, in the case of rented property, private liability insurances regularly exclude the obligation to pay benefits. This therefore also applies to damage to rental cars, which are frequently used in car races.

To the limit – only on the racetrack!

Sports and games have no place on the road, not (only) because of the listed threatening penalties, but especially to prevent accidents with serious consequences!

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