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Criminal & traffic law

Street-racing and “cruising”

Street-racing and wheel-spinning

Penalties for street-racing and wheel-spinning

Land Transport Act 1998, ss 22A, 36A

It’s a criminal offence:

  • to race your car on a road, or put on an unnecessary display of speed or acceleration, unless you’re driving within the speed limit and not breaking any other road rules, or
  • to make your car do a wheel-spin (“a sustained loss of traction”) without a reasonable excuse.

If you’re convicted, you can be imprisoned for up to three months or fined up to $4,500. You’ll also be automatically disqualified for at least six months.

If someone is injured or killed, the penalties are much heavier. You can be imprisoned for up to five years if someone is injured, or up to 10 years if someone is killed, or in either case you can be fined up to $20,000. You’ll also be automatically disqualified for at least one year.

Pouring oil or fuel onto the road for wheel-spins

Land Transport Act 1998, ss 22A(2), 36A(1)(b), (5)

It’s a criminal offence to pour petrol, oil or diesel onto the road, or anything similar that’s likely to cause tyres to lose their grip on the road, if you don’t have a reasonable excuse.

If you’re convicted, you can be fined up to $3,000.

Next Section | Anti-cruising laws

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Driving and traffic law

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Waka Kotahi – New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi’s site provides a wide range of driving and road safety information, including on topics covered in this chapter.

Website: www.nzta.govt.nz
Phone: 0800 699 000
Email: info@nzta.govt.nz

Search your question on Waka Kotahi’s resources section: www.nzta.govt.nz/resources

New Zealand Police

The New Zealand Police’s “frequently asked questions” section provides helpful information, particularly the “Driving/road safety” and “Tickets/infringements” section.

Website: www.police.govt.nz/advice-and-services/faqs

New Zealand Government

The New Zealand government website sets out more information about driving fines and penalties, including how to pay for infringement notices.

Website: www.govt.nz/browse/transport/driving-fines-and-penalties

Consumer Protection

The Consumer Protection website has useful information on a range of consumer topics, including private parking tickets and the towing and clamping of cars.

Website: www.consumerprotection.govt.nz/help-product-service/cars/parking-clamping-towing

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