Common Traffic Offences
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a. Racing

It is beyond dispute that racing is definitely an act which brings other road users into grave danger.  Once proof of racing is established, the Court will not hesitate to convict a driver of dangerous driving.  Apart from dangerous driving, a driver involved in racing should also be prepared to face the charge of racing under section 55 of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong), which provides that it shall be an offence for a person to promote or take part in a race between vehicles on any road.  Further, section 33 of the Offences Against the Person Ordinance (Cap.212 of the Laws of Hong Kong) also provides that “Any person who, having the charge of any carriage or vehicle, by wanton or furious driving or racing or other wilful misconduct, or by wilful neglect, does or causes to be done any bodily harm to any person shall be guilty of an offence triable either summarily or upon indictment, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 2 years.

However, sometimes it may be difficult to establish whether there is really a race among vehicles.  Let’s assume that you were driving in the middle of the night at a speed well above the prescribed limit on a meandering road in a car which has been adapted for higher speed, together with a group of cars also adapted for higher speed.  Some of the drivers in this group made some dangerous maneuvers by overtaking each other, but you did not.  Are you racing?  Well, even if you have not been caught overtaking, it is likely that you will still be considered to be racing because of all the circumstantial evidence: the time, the place, the high speed and the fact that your vehicle and the other vehicles have been adapted for high speed. These circumstances all objectively indicate the activity of racing; and therefore the Court will likely convict you of racing and dangerous driving.

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