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January 15, 2013

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Motorcycle racers punished for first time under new law

TWO motorcyclists, who zipped through Shanghai at speeds of over 100 kilometers per hour, were given the first sentences handed down for illegal motorcycle racing by a local court under an amendment to Chinese Criminal Law.

The amendment, which took effect on May 1, 2011, created a new crime - dangerous driving - that includes illegal racing.

The men raced through the city's streets on loud, souped-up motorcycles and even escaped from a motorcycle cop.

One of the riders, Jin Jing promised he would never illegally race on city streets again at the Pudong New Area People's Court yesterday.

Jin, 30, was sentenced to three months of detention with a three-month reprieve for dangerous driving. The other rider, Zhang Jiwei, 24, was given four months of detention with a four-month reprieve.

Prosecutors said the pair crossed the city on high-powered motorcycles on the night of February 3. They ran red lights, drove at very high speeds and broke other traffic rules over 28.5 kilometers.

It took them 40 minutes to ride from Leyuan Road in Pudong, along Nanpu Bridge to Lujiabang Road in downtown Huangpu District. There, they were spotted by traffic police.

The pair sped up and escaped from a motorcycle cop, fleeing by Henan Road S. and then entering the Fuxing Road E. tunnel to get away. Zhang said they went to his home in Pudong. Police tracked Zhang through surveillance video and detained him at home on February 6. Jin turned himself in.

Prosecutors said the men once reached 108 kilometers per hour on Nanpu Bridge and 102 kph in the tunnel. The speed limit for both is 60 kph.

Before the new law, the heaviest punishment for drivers was a detention of 15 days.

"It is a must to let drivers know how serious dangerous driving is," prosecutors said.


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