Street racing and other hoon offences
High-speed driving, burnouts and police pursuits are some types of hoon offences. These offences are serious and carry severe penalties.
What is a hoon offence?
Hoon offences, often called 'hooning', is when you engage in dangerous and reckless driving behaviour. The penalties for hoon offences are severe in most cases. You may receive an immediate licence suspension.
Hoon offences include:
- speed racing (also known as street racing)
- doing burnouts or doughnuts
- drag racing
- driving at dangerous speeds
- being involved in a police pursuit.
For a more detailed list, see below.
Types of hoon offences and penalties
There are several categories of hoon offences. See the penalties relating to each type of hoon offence below.
Speed racing or street racing refers to organising, promoting or taking part in an unapproved vehicle race on NSW roads.
Speed and street racing behaviour includes:
- a race between 2 or more vehicles on a NSW road
- any speed trial of a vehicle on a NSW road
- any competitive trial designed to test the skill of any vehicle or driver on a NSW road
- organising, promoting or taking part in any of the above behaviour.
If you're caught speed or street racing, the maximum court-imposed fine is $3300 for a first offence. For a second or subsequent offence, you could be fined $3300 and face 9 months imprisonment. A 12-month disqualification period will apply too, if you're convicted.
Drag racing and aggravated burnouts is when a driver deliberately drives a vehicle to cause a continuous loss of traction. For example, a driver who over accelerates may cause the wheels to spin, which means the tires lose grip on the road.
Drag racing and aggravated burnouts include:
- knowingly operating a vehicle when there's petrol, oil, fuel or other inflammable liquid which has been deliberately placed on the road to cause a loss of traction
- continuing to operate a vehicle that has lost traction
- participating in any group activity involving drag racing or burnouts
- promoting, photographing or videoing drag racing or burnout behaviour with the purpose of encouraging participation in the activities.
If you commit a drag racing or burnout offence, the maximum court-imposed fine is $3300 for a first offence. For a second or subsequent offence, you could be fined $3300 and face 9 months imprisonment. A 12-month disqualification period will apply too, if you're convicted.
A police pursuit is when you knowingly drive a vehicle dangerously or at high speed and fail to comply with police when they ask you to pull over. Being involved in a police pursuit is a serious offence which carries severe penalties.
Police pursuits can include:
- not stopping your vehicle when police have indicated for you to stop
- driving the vehicle recklessly, endangering other road users in the community.
For a first offence, the maximum penalty is 3 years imprisonment and a 3-year disqualification period. For a second or subsequent offence, the maximum penalty is 5 years imprisonment and a 5-year disqualification period.
Driving at dangerous speeds is considered a hoon offence when you exceed a speed limit by more than 45km/h on a NSW road.
You may also be charged with a serious speeding offence as well as a hoon offence.
For more information about speeding, see Speeding offences.
For speeding by more than 45km/h in a light vehicle, the maximum court-imposed fine is $3300. It's $5500 for a heavy vehicle. A 6-month disqualification period will apply too, if you're convicted.
Immediate licence suspension
If you are charged with a hoon offence, the police mayimmediately suspend your driver's licence when they pull you over. This means you are stopped from driving and can't drive again until your case is determined in court.
The suspension of your licence will remain in place until the charge is determined by a court.
If you commit a hoon offence, you may receive a vehicle sanction. This means that police may impound (take away) your vehicle or confiscate your number plates for a set period of time.
If the vehicle is registered to a company, Police can impound it. They can immediately apply a vehicle sanction at the roadside when they pull you over.
For more, see Vehicle sanctions.
Report a hoon
If you have witnessed any type of hoon offence, you can make an anonymous report to Crime Stoppers NSW.
You may be asked to provide details of the offence including:
- when and where the offence took place
- registration or plate number of the vehicles involved
- a statement about the offence you witnessed.