Congress clamps down on illegal drag racing on public roads

Motorists that treat public roads like drag strips may soon face stiffer penalties.

The House of Representative unanimously voted in approval of a bill that proposes to prohibit drag racing on public roads. Under House Bill 8916 (aka Illegal Drag Racing Ban Act), any public utility or private driver will be apprehended and served a hefty fine.

The bill received 205 approvals with 0 negative votes. With it, Quezon City Representative Precious Hipolito-Castelo, author of HB 8916, urged the Senate to compose a counterpart bill in order to make public roads safer. The Lower House has already agreed in passing the said bill to the Senate for approval of a counterpart.

According to the bill, drag racing covers “any type of motorized or electric vehicle, which uses a road, street or highway for the conveyance of goods people or goods,” including “four-wheeled, three-wheeled and two-wheeled vehicles.”

Those caught illegally drag racing on public roads will face harsh penalties. First-time offenders will be suspended from operating a motor vehicle for 6 months. A second offense will result in a revoked driver's license. Apart from that, a court presiding over the case may also impose a hefty PHP 300,000 to PHP 500,000 fine, a one-year prison sentence, or both. Vehicles involved in the drag race will be immediately impounded as well.

While this new bill could help make public roads safer, drag racing is already illegal according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). In 2019, a drag race was proposed for the 2020 Sinulog festival. It was ultimately rejected due to an August 2012 advisory from the DOJ – stating that drag racing on public roads has already been outlawed. 

Drag racing or any type of racing for that matter should always be done on the race track.