Senator Jimmy Dillon

Harrisburg – May 1, 2024 – Senator Jimmy Dillon (D, Philadelphia) is proud to announce yesterday’s passage of Senate Bill 998, a critical piece of legislation aimed at enhancing public safety by modernizing Pennsylvania’s laws against illegal street racing. The bill, which passed the Senate with overwhelming support at 49-1, now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Senate Bill 998 represents a bipartisan effort from Senators Dillon, Farry, Langerholc, Robinson, Phillips-Hill, Martin, Culver, Dush, Vogel, Costa, and Gebhard to tackle the evolving dangers associated with vehicular racing. “The core of SB 998 is about adapting to new trends,” said Senator Dillon. “The current legal framework under Title 75 bans certain types of racing on highways, but as our communities grow and change, so do the forms of reckless driving we need to address.”

Key provisions of Senate Bill 998 include:

  • Increasing fines for those organizing and participating in street races, with first-time offenders facing a $500 penalty and repeat offenders a $2,000 fine.
  • Defining and prohibiting “drifting”—the act of intentionally skidding a vehicle sideways, with violations incurring a $250 fine.
  • Empowering law enforcement to impound vehicles involved in street racing for up to six months, with associated costs recoverable by prosecution.
  • Establishing a $1,000 fine per vehicle for individuals organizing, promoting, or financing illegal racing events.
  • Escalating charges to a felony of the third degree if racing activities result in injury or death.

“Illegal street racing has become an incredibly dangerous issue and needs to stop before more people or law enforcement officers are hurt or killed at these events,” added Senator Frank Farry (R, Bucks). “Our hope with this legislation is to reduce the number of these incidents and continue to keep our communities safe.”

The legislation has garnered endorsements from several key stakeholders, including the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, the Pennsylvania Council of Chief Juvenile Probation Officers, and the Pennsylvania DUI Association.

“SB 998 delivers a clear message: our roads are for daily commutes, soccer practice runs, and trips to your favorite state park—not for reckless joyriding,” said Dillon.

The bipartisan consensus on SB 998 underscores a commitment to public safety focused on deterring dangerous behaviors before they happen. Senator Dillon encourages his colleagues in the House of Representatives to support this vital legislation.