For sanctioned racing taking place on temporary circuits erected on city streets, see road racing.
Street racing is a form of auto racing that takes place on the streets,usually at a stop light, during normal traffic or during empty hours of traffic, often within the industrial areas of cities. It is illegal, as such driving is prohibited by many traffic regulations. Speeds in an illegal street race can reach easily over 100 miles per hour and due to the unprofessionalism of the driving, crashes can occur easily, at times with deadly results.
Most common form of street racing in the US is a drag race of modified stock cars happening late at night on straight public roads with very low traffic that are often illegally closed by the race organizers. (Professional drag racers who race on sanctioned drag strips often object to the use of the term drag race to describe an event of this type.)
The motivations behind illegal street races are many: lack of a nearby drag strip (although street racing occurs even where drag strips are within a reasonable driving distance), the temptation of the illegality of such a race (which could be interrupted by a police squad any time), or just the similarity to day to day situations at a traffic light. Streetracing is also a growing business with streetracers being steady consumers of a billion dollar aftermarket tuning industry, as well as in the automotive industry.
Street Racing in Japan
Street racers, known natively as hashiriya (走り屋), can also occur on expressways and highways, infamously in Japan, where they are known as kousoku battle Template:Fact and frequently occur on the Shuto Expressway in Tokyo. The most notorious group to be associated with it was the MidNight Club who gave street racing a worldwide attention with its 186 mph (300 km/h) antics and was known for its high standards and organisation until they were disbanded in 1999 following a fatal accident involving a competing group of motorcyclists. Nowadays, with heavier punishments, patrolling police cars and speed cameras, expressway racing in Japan is not as common as it was during the 80's and 90's but still occurs on a regular basis.Template:Fact
Like in other countries, street also occurs on long straights in industrial estates, which are used for drag races, known natively as Zero-Yon (ゼロヨン).
Street Racing in Hong Kong
Street racing in Hong Kong is very much similar to that in other Asian countries and tend to be mostly modified Japanese cars and motorcycles. The Hong Kong Police Force, responsible for road safety, tends to place roadblocks in areas where it commonly occurs.
Street Racing in Malaysia
Street racing in Malaysia is illegal, and watching a street race is also illegal, and these are enforced by the Malaysian police. Many streets, roads, highways and expressways in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and other cities have become sites for racing. Among them are teenagers either riding motorcycles or driving modified cars.The motorcycle street racers in Malaysia are famously known as Mat Rempit in Malay Language. These Mat Rempit are famous for their "Superman" stunts and other stunts performed on their motorcycles. They are also notorious for their "Cilok", a kind of racing in which racers weave in-between moving and stationary traffic at high-speed.
On 12 July 2006, the Malaysia-Singapore Second Link in Johor became a place of illegal racing. The Johor police and the Road Transport Department, with the highway operator PLUS Expressway, have launched big operations to crack down on illegal racing. More than 100,000 people have been arrested in these operations.
In some places there have been legal street races known as blackraces. This is not the same as road racing. It is strictly an amateur sport with road legal vehicles. Usually the races are done on a closed road and run on time and not against another vehicle, the most famous being the annual Silver State Classic.
Street Racing in the United States
Street races occur all over the United States; indeed, the argument could be made that it is almost inevitable that street races will occur anywhere there are public roads. Unsanctioned racing with unknown participants, on an unknown course, for an unknown duration is the most common type of road racing sport. A contest may last seconds or many hours. The informal events have the common characteristic that, the car in front at the finish wins, the leading car chooses the course, and the finish is when the stalking car quits.
This being said, some states have more active racing scenes than others. There is a strong racing culture in Southern California, which centers quite heavily around imports (i.e. Mitsubishi Eclipse, Mazda RX-7, etc.), as well as such American muscle cars as the Ford Mustang, Dodge Charger, and Chevrolet Camaro. There are also very active street racing cultures in New York, Florida, New Jersey, Nevada and Texas. In some cases, the popularity has led to tough anti-street racing laws which give more strict punishments than normal traffic citations and also often dedicated anti-racing task forces. In 2005 a law in Tennessee that was passed prohibited cars to have Nitrous Oxide hooked up or even present inside a car, among other performance enhancers. Penalties include impoundment, taking of drivers license for a period of time or permanently. This came about after a fatal crash in Johnson City, Tennessee.