Florida Highway Patrol Combats Rise In Street Racing, Takeover Events
~ Drivers, passengers, and spectators should all know the law and follow it to avoid painful criminal or civil penalties ~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Street racing, street takeovers, and stunt-driving incidents have risen in Florida, but the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) are intent on combatting these dangerous driving behaviors.
Florida law, enacted in 2022, prohibits street racing. Takeovers, drag racing, donuts, burnouts, wheelies, drifting, and other related activities create unsafe roadways.
Overtaking a road is dangerous for many reasons; it impedes the normal flow of traffic, can delay emergency vehicles responding to those in need, and endangers participants, spectators, and innocent bystanders.
“The reckless actions displayed by those participating in attempting to overtake roadways cause serious risk to themselves and others,” said FLHSMV Director Dave Kerner. “Florida is a law-and-order state, and we will continue to ensure that order and safety comes first. Florida State Troopers are trained to enforce the laws of the state and we will not hesitate to act against those who choose to participate in street takeover attempts or racing.
“The individuals involved in these crimes are not just committing dangerous acts, they are criminals. When stopped and detained, dangerous narcotics, firearms, and warrants are often discovered. Their illegal activity is not entertainment; it is irresponsible and challenges the safety Floridians deserve and have as a constitutional right. Reckless drivers and participants do not care about your safety or the safety of your family, and FHP has prioritized shutting down these groups. They will be caught, and they will be prosecuted.”
In the past four years, 6,641 citations were issued for either street racing/stunt driving – a first-degree misdemeanor – or for actively participating as a spectator – classified as a non-criminal traffic infraction.
FLHSMV data analysis identifies ages 16-29 as the key demographic for participants and spectators.
The law outlines drivers, passengers, organizers, promoters, and anyone in a vehicle who is filming participants can be charged with first-degree misdemeanors.
Spectators can be cited with a non-criminal infraction and subjected to civil penalties under section 318.14, Florida Statutes.
Consequences of violating the law include jail time, driver license revocation, and county-imposed fines ranging from $500 to $5,000. Other financial impacts include the cost of vehicle towing, impoundment, court fees, and indirect financial hardships created by the lack of a vehicle or driver’s license suspension/revocation.
In response to this criminally negligent activity, FHP wants to raise public awareness and target those who participate in dangerous and illegal street takeovers and street racing, spectators, passengers who knowingly ride in a participating vehicle, and those who promote these events on social media. By educating them about the consequences and enforcing the law that makes our roadways safe to travel for citizens and visitors alike.
Remain calm if you encounter illegal street racing, stunt driving, or street takeovers. Safely pull over to the side of the road and report it. Do not engage.
If in immediate danger, always contact 911. Otherwise, dial *FHP (*347) to reach the nearest dispatch center.
A warrantless arrest can be made if a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe an individual is involved in this criminal behavior. Email StopRacing@flhsmv.gov if you have knowledge of an upcoming event or can identify participants. Send any corresponding documentation; this information could lead to an investigation.
For more information on FHP’s initiative to combat roadway takeovers, street racing and stunt driving, visit FLHSMV’s webpage at www.flhsmv.gov/StopRacing.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education, and enforcement. Florida is leading the way to A Safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol.
To learn more about FLHSMV and the services offered, visit https://www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV, find us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram
Dave Kerner, Executive Director