The Secret Every Street Racer Knows To Avoid Cops

For as long as cars have a been around, people have been using them not just to get from here to there, but to race them. There’s just something about showing off your slick ride — especially if you’ve modified it — and racing it against others. Professional racing has been around since 1895, according to Britannica, with one professional racing organization, NASCAR, emerging from Prohibition-era moonshiners practice of trying to outrun the police.  

Late-night races on city streets aren’t just something that happens in the “Fast and Furious” movie franchise; they’ve been going on for decades. If you know where to look, you may well find an illegal street race happening somewhere in your city tonight.

But since street racing is still extremely illegal, and getting caught can earn you a jail sentence and possibly other expensive penalties, street racers have to go to great lengths to avoid the long arm of the law.

You have to have your race in the right place

One way street racers avoid getting busted by the cops is to use care in where they decide to hold their races. According to Hot Cars, racers will plan their illicit activities near the border between where one jurisdiction ends and another begins, such as  a border between two counties, or by where a city police department’s jurisdiction ends and the county has jurisdiction.

This is done because, in most locales, police officers don’t have the right to make arrests outside of their jurisdiction. According to Quick and Dirty Tips, that means that if you are being chased by an officer from, say, County A, and you cross over the line into County B, police from the former cannot arrest you.

You may have seen a movie or TV show where someone is fleeing the police and, when they cross between jurisdictions, the pursuing officer has to slam on their brakes. That is not how it works, according to Hot Cars. However, the pursuing officer does have to get permission from the other jurisdiction to continue the chase, and those few seconds it takes can make the difference between an illegal racer getting caught or making it to freedom to be able to race another day.

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