Harsher penalties for those caught street racing

The law will come down harder on those caught street racing, whether on four wheels or two.

The House of Representatives unanimously approved on third and final reading the bill proposing to prohibit drag racing on public roads (HB 8916) by drivers of public utility or private-owned vehicles. The vote was cast on March 16, 2021. The bill was authored by Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito-Castelo.

The bill received 205 affirmative and 0 negative votes. Hipolito-Castelo urged the Senate to pass a counterpart to make the country’s road safer from irresponsible motorists. The Lower House agreed to send House Bill 8916 to the Senate for approval of a counterpart measure.

Congress approves anti-drag racing bill on final reading image

“Deplorably, many lives were snuffed out on account of drag racing in public roads which occurs at an alarming rate,” she said in the explanatory notes of the bill.

While it’s called the anti-drag racing bill, its definition is very broad and could easily encompass many situations, like the street racing that occurs in Marilaque or Kaybiang.

The bill defines drag racing as “a road race involving two or more vehicles driven side by side within a specified distance at accelerating speeds with the objective to outdo each other, or the employment of vehicles not necessarily driver side by side over a common course for the purpose of determining the relative speeds or power of acceleration of the vehicles.”

The bill covers “any type of motorized or electric vehicle, which uses a road, street or highway for the conveyance of goods people or goods,” including “four-wheeled, three-wheeled and two-wheeled vehicles.”

So whether you’re on an electric scooter, motorcycle, car, or even PUV on any public road, whether straight or winding, this bill will apply.

The only exception to the rule is if the activity has a permit from the local government unit concerned.

Those caught face harsh penalties. First time offenders will be suspended from operating motor vehicles within a six month period. The second offense warrants a revoked driver’s license. In addition, the court presiding over the case may impose a fine of PhP300,000 to PhP500,000, a one year prison sentence, or both. Vehicles involved will be immediately impounded.