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Speed Demon - Highway Racing Dangers and Penalties
While highway racing may look fun and glamorous in the movies, in real life it is a criminal offense that risks the life of every single driver on that road. Those who participate in highway racing are not only gambling with their own futures; they're also being careless of those with whom they share the streets that we all drive upon. And because of this danger, the state of Florida has imposed harsh penalties for this offense, including possible jail time.
The state defines highway racing as:
- Driving any motor vehicle in a speed competition, race, or contest
- Drag racing or acceleration contest
- An exhibition of speed or acceleration so as to set a speed record on any road
Whether these races are prearranged or spur of the moment, you will be prosecuted within the full letter of the law if you are caught. You may also be held culpable if you are a knowing passenger in such a vehicle, are a spectator at a prearranged race event, or if you facilitate and/or monetarily profit from this type of racing. You may also be held punishable under this law if you stop traffic in any way so as to facilitate a race.
Highway racing in Florida is classified as a criminal misdemeanor offense, which carries a mandatory license revocation for one year, and could put you in jail for up to one year if you are convicted. Your car could be impounded for a month. In addition to jail time, you will also pay a mandatory fine:
- A first offense will cost you $500 - $1000
- A second offense will cost you $1000 - $3000
If you are convicted of a second offense, your license revocation period will also increase to as long as 4 years. You could also lose the title to your vehicle forever if you are convicted of 2 or more violations within a 5 year period.
Regardless of offense, you will be required by the state to attend a basic driver improvement course and submit proof of successful completion. If it is your first offense, you will likely be asked to complete the 4-hour basic driver improvement course, but if you have been convicted of multiple racing offenses, the court may go so far as to require you to take a 12-hour ADI course.
Taking a basic driver improvement course will not only fulfill your state requirement, but will also educate you in the essential Florida traffic laws that you need to be refreshed on. There are alternatives to the classroom course that people usually think of when faced with traffic school. An online Florida traffic school includes the same state-required curriculum that you would find in its classroom counterpart, with the exception that it can be completed from your computer. This is especially helpful if your license has been suspended, as it likely has been with a racing conviction. You may complete your requirements without worrying about someone driving you to and from your class, and you can work within whatever schedule you already have.You also learn through engaging multimedia content, as opposed to a lecture and a driving handbook, making it faster to learn and easier to remember.
The easiest way to keep your driving privileges intact (and your money in your pocket) is driving well within the limit of the law, and NEVER racing another vehicle. By being a responsible driver, the life you could save may not only be your own.
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