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Death Penalty for Motorcycle Road Racers In China Might Be A Touch Harsh

Okay, so I get this part: a couple of motorcycle drag racers were arrested and charged with dangerous driving. I guess you’d expect a little traffic school and some heavy fines would follow. But what you surely wouldn’t expect is this; under new guidelines in China, those charged with street racing can get the death penalty.

You read that right, the death penalty. The Green Mile. A ride on Old Sparky.

Under the previous Chinese law, racers faced a penalty of less than 15 days if their racing activities caused no damages to other motorists.

The incident in question came about when two Chinese men met up in a garage on Leyuan Road, Pudong New Area, China. The pair hopped on their Yamaha and a Honda litre bikes, headed down the road a piece, made a U-turn and then screwed on the throttles in full view of a set of surveillance cameras. The race led the riders to some high speeds and they ran a few red lights. When patrol officers tried to stop the pair, they managed to escape – for a time.

For their bit of highway hooliganism, the pair were later identified by the authorities from the surveillance camera footage and were subsequently arrested and had their motorcycles confiscated.  The pair came clean in light of the video evidence, and their case was handed over to the prosecution last week.

 “Street racing seriously disturbs the traffic,” said a police spokesperson.

Which, given the possible penalty for the riders, is a dry sort of comment. I bet it seriously disturbed the riders as well…


It’s not like people in the US avoid racing on the roads. These stats were compiled from a variety of safety studies done over the last few years. The penalties for street racing in the US, while costly and inconvenient, don’t really stack up to the possible fate facing Chinese who race on the public roads:

As a result, city and state ordinances have been issued regarding illegal street racing. Though laws vary, here are some penalties faced by street racers:

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