Illegal street races in Tennessee pose a major threat to drivers, pedestrians and spectators. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and other transportation agencies, illegal street racing is growing in popularity across the country. To combat this problem, authorities are imposing serious penalties on people found street racing or viewing a street race.
According to the NHTSA, there were 72 fatalities from illegal street races in 2000. NHTSA statistics that were gathered in 2001 showed that the number of fatalities related to illegal street racing had risen to 135 fatal crashes. The NHTSA claims that car accidents are the leading cause of death for individuals between 16 and 20 years old.
Penalties for participating in illegal street racing vary in different jurisdictions. However, some of the penalties that street racers could face include loss of their driver's license, imprisonment for up to three months and fines of up to $1,000. Street racers could have their vehicle impounded for 30 days or seized permanently and crushed. People caught viewing a street race might be charged for aiding and abetting an unlawful street race.
Illegal street races sometimes lead to car accidents that involve other drivers or passengers who were not involved or aware that the activity was going on. A person who has been injured as a result of a street race that they were not involved in might be able to file a personal injury complaint against the participants and organizers of the race. An attorney may be able to help such a client file a claim in court.