Will the New Georgia Anti-Street Racing Law Reduce Accidents and Injuries?

A new Georgia Anti-Street Racing Law has gone into effect in this state that creates criminal penalties and fines for those involved in a street race or stunt driving or those who organize such events. House Bill 534 was signed into law by the Governor on May 3rd and enacted heavier penalties and fines on street racing and stunt driving. It requires at least 10 days of jail time for all convictions and allows the police to seize the vehicle of someone convicted for a third time within five years. 

It also acts to create a new crime the law defines as “reckless stunt driving,” which constitutes someone drag racing or showing off stunt driving while on private property without the owner’s permission. Additionally, it raises other fines and penalties and increases jail times for those convicted. Fourth and later convictions are now considered felonies, with fines between $1,000 to $5,000 dollars and one to five years in prison. Officer Timothy Donahue was interviewed about the problems they face in trying to stop illegal drag racing and stunt driving, and he believes the law will have a substantial impact on their capacity to prevent such dangerous acts. 

Hopeful Reduction In Accidents & Injuries

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 153 individuals were killed in 122 crashes while racing between 2001 to 2010. NHTSA, however, changed how the agency classifies racing in 2009, so that an accident is considered to involve racing only if law enforcement charged at least one driver with racing, making these statistics lower than what reality likely reflects. 

Nationally, it is estimated that for every 1,000 people that participate in street drag races, there are 49 individuals that are injured. So, although uninvolved individuals are not at a seemingly very high risk of death from street racing, people can still suffer serious and life-changing injuries due to dangerous street racing. The chance of injuries goes up when the drag race is not spontaneous but comes from an organized event. An organized event attracts far more racers and can lead to far more hazards to others, as well as the racers involved.

Given that the Georgia law targets not just those participating in races but also those organizing them, the reduction in organized races could certainly lead to fewer injuries from drag racing incidents in the state. Furthermore, while the law may not have an immediate impact on the frequency of stunt driving and drag racing, as it is implemented and begins to take effect, there should be a reduction in instances of this in Georgia. 

Thus, the inherent dangers posed to drivers and uninvolved others by this dangerous sport will hopefully diminish. This diminishment should lead to safer roads and fewer injuries as a result of the new Georgia law. The law could also help victims injured by drag racers in their efforts to recover compensation for their injuries from the drivers or organizers, as the new criminal penalties may help a plaintiff's case.

How Can the Forsyth County Car Accident Lawyers at Banks, Stubbs & McFarland LLP Assist?

At Banks, Stubbs, & McFarland LLP, we help people injured in accidents caused by reckless drivers. If you are the victim of a street racing accident that leaves you injured, or if it resulted in the death of a family member, we are the Forsyth County car accident lawyers you need by your side in order to recover everything you're entitled to. All around Georgia, we are the premier law firm to represent you for your personal injury claim. Contact us today for a free consultation by either going online to our website or calling (770) 887-1209.