Cops, Courts and Fire Government

PA Senate Approves Bucks County Lawmaker’s Bill To Ramp Up Penalties On Illegal Street Racing

The bills calls to significantly increase penalties for illegal street racing.

State Sen. Frank Farry speaking at a hearing. Credit: Tom Sofield/

Legislation aimed at curbing illegal street racing received approval from the Pennsylvania Senate on Tuesday.

Senate Bill 998, dubbed the Putting the Brakes on Street Racing Act, passed with a 49-1 vote. The bill was sponsored by a bipartisan group, including State Sen. Frank Farry, a Republican from Langhorne Borough. It passed with support from Democratic State Sen. Steve Santarsiero, who also represents part of Bucks County.

The bill’s passage in the Senate sends it next to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for consideration.

The bill would introduces severe penalties for those involved in street racing offenses and comes as lawmakers seek to clamp down on the activity that has plagued communities across the state.

Under the new legislation, penalties for first-time street racing offenses would increase to $500 and fines could reach $2,000 for additional violations. Additionally, the bill calls for the impoundment of vehicles used in the offenses and introduces strict penalties for event organizers, who could face fines, suspension of driving privileges, classification as habitual offenders, and potential imprisonment.

File photo.

The legislation also targets the practice of drifting – a technique where drivers intentionally skid or slide through turns – on roadways and parking lots. Additionally, it adds penalties on those organizing street racing or drifting events.

Street racing and out-of-control car gatherings have led to crashes and disruptions around the state. Local problems have been reported in recent years in Bensalem Township, Middletown Township, and Philadelphia.

“During the last several years, we have seen illegal street racing events in Philadelphia and the region. These incidents have led to numerous law enforcement officers being struck by vehicles,” Farry said. “These tragic incidents need to stop before more people, including law enforcement officers, are hurt or killed at these events. This bill is part of my effort to combat this evolving crime and improve safety in our communities.”

State Sen. Jimmy Dillon, a Philadelphia Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill, said the bill aims to increase public safety.

“Public safety is always my main concern and Senate Bill 998 is a critical step toward enhancing road safety and accountability for dangerous driving behaviors,” said Dillon.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.

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