Numerous reports of drag racing in the city of Douglas are being reported to the Douglas Police Department. Several individuals are meeting to drag race their vehicles on public streets throughout the city.
Drag racing is a violation of law and could have serious consequences to include incarceration, fines, possible license suspension, and increased insurance costs. Drag racing is not a felony in Georgia, however, high consideration should be held for the concern of the possibility of accidents, road and property damage, and loss of life or injuries from an accident. A citation for drag racing holds higher penalties than an average speeding ticket.
“We ask that persons restrain from this type of activity on city streets,” says Police Chief Gary Casteloes. “There are several drag strips in the area that allow individuals to do match racing legally and in a safe controlled area.”
The below Georgia Statues directly relate to drag racing, street racing, excessive speeding and endangering the public. There are additional laws that govern arranging, participating, aiding or gathering to observe Illegal Street racing events.
40-6-181. Maximum limits - Speed Limits
· (a) The limits specified in this Code section or established as authorized in this article shall be the maximum lawful vehicle speeds, except when a special hazard exists that requires a lower speed for compliance with Code Section 40-6-180.
· (b) Consistent with the provision of engineering and traffic investigations regarding maximum speed limits as provided in Code Section 40-6-182, no person shall drive a vehicle at a speed in excess of the following maximum limits:
o (1) Thirty miles per hour in any urban or residential district;
o (1.1) Thirty-five miles per hour on an unpaved county road unless designated otherwise by appropriate signs;
o (2) Seventy miles per hour on a highway on the federal interstate system and on physically divided highways with full control of access which are outside of an urbanized area of 50,000 population or more, provided that such speed limit is designated by appropriate signs;
o (3) Seventy miles per hour on a highway on the federal interstate system which is inside of an urbanized area of 50,000 population or more, provided that such speed limit is designated by appropriate signs;
o (4) Sixty-five miles per hour on those sections of physically divided highways without full access control on the state highway system, provided that such speed limit is designated by appropriate signs; and
o (5) Fifty-five miles per hour in other locations.
§40-6-186. Racing on highways or streets
· (a) As used in this Code section, the term:
o (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.
o (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.
40-6-251. Driving in circular or zigzag course; "laying drags."
· (a) No driver of any motor vehicle shall operate the vehicle upon the public streets, highways, public or private driveways, airport runways, or parking lots in such a manner as to create a danger to persons or property by intentionally and unnecessarily causing the vehicle to move in a zigzag or circular course or to gyrate or spin around, except to avoid a collision or injury or damage.
· (b) The offenses described in this Code section shall be sufficiently identified on any traffic ticket, warrant, accusation, or indictment when referred to as "laying drags."
· (c) This Code section shall not apply to drivers operating vehicles in or on any raceway, drag strip, or similar place customarily and lawfully used for such purposes.
· (d) Any person violating subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
40-6-390. Reckless driving
· (a) Any person who drives any vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property commits the offense of reckless driving.
· (b) Every person convicted of reckless driving shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or imprisonment not to exceed 12 months, or by both such fine and imprisonment, provided that no provision of this Code section shall be construed so as to deprive the court imposing the sentence of the power given by law to stay or suspend the execution of such sentence or to place the defendant on probation.
40-6-397. Aggressive driving; penalty
· (a) A person commits the offense of aggressive driving when he or she operates any motor vehicle with the intent to annoy, harass, molest, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person, including without limitation violating Code Section 40-6-42,
40-6-48, 40-6-49, 40-6-123, 40-6-184, 40-6-312, or 40-6-390 with such intent.
· (b) Any person convicted of aggressive driving shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a
high and aggravated nature.