German authorities clamp down on illegal street racing

Police in Germany are prosecuting more and more drivers for illegal street racing, Berlin’s public prosecutor told dpa.

In the capital alone, there were 30 per cent more prosecutions in 2019 compared to 2018, First Senior Public Prosecutor Andreas Winkelmann said. Last year, the authorities pressed charges in 565 cases.

“We will definitely hit the 1,000 mark between the changing of the law in 2017, and the end of this year,” Winkelmann said.

In October 2017, federal crime statutes were updated to toughen penalties for illegal racing, which is now a criminal offence.

Even passengers in an illegal race can be sentenced to prison for up to two years. Before that, drivers faced only fines of up to 400 euros (443 dollars).

Police in Cologne have also registered more illegal car races in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia. There were 456 cases between January and September this year, up from 387 in the same period last year.

Now, the police in Cologne have set up a special investigations committee and are carrying out increased checks.

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