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Hooning Offences and Penalties in New South Wales

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Australian National Character Check (ANCC) makes every effort to provide updated and accurate information to its customers. However due to the continuously changing nature of legislations for the Commonwealth and various States and Territories, it is inevitable that some information may not be up to date. The information on the website is general information only. The contents on the website do not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, suitability, accuracy or availability with respect to the information.

Hooning Defined

Hooning or hoon driving means driving irresponsibly on the road, whether with a car or a motorcycle. Drivers assume an obligation of care to other motorists as well as pedestrians on the road. This act is regarded as a crime in New South Wales.

They are expected to exercise a high level of vigilance while on the road for the safety of both themselves and others. In New South Wales, the following acts fall under the category of hooning offences;

  • Burnouts and exacerbated burnouts
  • High-speed driving
  • Street racing
  • Police pursuits

These reckless acts are statutorily provided against with various penalties spelt out.

If an individual is convicted for a Hooning offence, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check.

Burnouts and exacerbated burnouts

This is when a car is kept fixed while its wheels are left rolling. The resistance generated from this results in the tires warming up and smoking. Burnouts can also be called a power brake.

Some burnouts are exacerbated and deemed more severe than the simple burnout acts. This is called drag racing. They are;

  • Intentionally affecting burnouts even with the knowledge that diesel or any other volatile liquid is lying around the corner
  • Facilitating other individuals to take part in the burnout
  • Conducting the burnout exercise frequently
  • Prompting its continuation by filming the act
  • Performs burnout drills knowing fully well that such action is capable of disrupting the peace of the residents of that particular area.

These acts, be it the regular burnout practices or the aggravated ones, are precisely restricted.


A person charged and found guilty of indulging in burnout will be liable to pay a maximum fine of $1,110. Section 116 of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW), makes provisions for this.

However, the case is different where the burnouts are exacerbated, as listed above. This latter offence attracts a maximum $3,300 fine for first-time culprits.

A person who commits the offence again will face the same maximum fine as mentioned earlier, but this time around, with an additional penalty of a 9-months jail sentence penalty. This is provided for in section 116(2) of the Road Transport Act 2013 (NSW).

High-Speed driving

Breaking the speed limit by driving over 45 kilometres per hour is illegal. Moving at a very high speed exposes everyone on the road to possible dangers and accidents.

A driver who commits a speeding offence is subject to revoking his licence or even disqualified for a particular period.

The New South Wales Police have the power to administer such roadside suspensions. They also have the liberty to seize an offender's vehicle or the plate number of the said vehicle.


A driver who speeds by more than 45km per hour in a light automobile will be liable to pay a maximum fine of $3,300.

Where it is a heavy automobile, it will be a maximum fine of $5,500. Where such an offender is convicted, he is also subject to a disqualification period of 6 months.

Street Racing

Street racing, also referred to as speed racing, is simply an activity involving two persons or several persons contending over who drives the fastest. It can also be an undertaking to test the momentum of a vehicle or to exceed a stipulated speed limit.

These acts are not allowed under NSW Laws and are punishable.

Note; however, that speed racing can become lawful where the Commissioner of Police issues a written approval. In such cases, the COP gives certain conditions which must be strictly adhered to.


First-time offenders captured speed racing will face the penalty of a maximum fine of $3,300. On the other hand, a second-time offender is faced with both a maximum fine of $3,300 and 9 months imprisonment. If sentenced, a disqualification period of 12 months will follow suit.

In cases where there is a written authorisation by the Commissioner of Police to speed race, failure to abide by the conditions given will amount to an offence. This will attract a maximum fine of $2,200. In addition, upon conviction, you may also be disqualified for a duration as determined by the court.

Police Pursuit

It is against the law to drive rashly and fail to stop against the direct orders of the police. This is called police pursuit. A driver ought to stop the vehicle the second the police ask him. Failure to do so amounts to an offence.


For a first-time offender, the ultimate punishment is three years imprisonment and three years disqualification. While for repeat offenders, the maximum sentence is 5-year imprisonment and a five-year disqualification period.

Points to Note

  • The police can impose roadside sanctions where a driver is caught doing any of the above offences. Part 7.6 of the 2013 Road Transport Act provides for this.
  • When you are sentenced for street racing, high-speed driving, or exacerbated burnout offences, it will be reported on your criminal book, and your licence disqualified. The disqualification interval will take place unless the court gives a particular decree.
  • When an offender joins in the Traffic Offender Intervention Program, the court may be gracious in its conviction.
  • A licence suspension and disqualification restrict you for the specified time.
  • NSW Police can enforce the suspension of a licence even without an established conviction. On the other hand, a court can only impose a licence disqualification as part of the sanction after a proper sentence has been given.

Will a Hooning Offence show up on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check?

If an individual is found guilty of a hooning offence, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on the results of their Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check.

Individuals can obtain a police check online via the Australian National Character Check - ANCC® website.

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You may include a link on your website pointing to this content for commercial, educational, governmental or personal use.

The contents of this website do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal or professional advice.

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