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March 6, 2012

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Motorcycle street racers caught on tape could face death penalty

TWO motorcycle drag racers were detained and charged with dangerous driving under new guidelines that for the first time can lead to the death penalty, city police said yesterday.

Previously, racers face a penalty of less than 15 days if they caused no consequences.

The street bike racing happened the night of February 3. The two men, identified only as Jin and Zhang, met about 8pm in a garage on Leyuan Road, Pudong New Area, and drove out a Yamaha and a Honda, both powerful motorcycles with 1,000 cubic-centimeter engines, police said.

The two rode on Yanggao Road and made a U-turn near Jufeng Road, police found in the surveillance cameras. The two were later speeding on the road and kept breaking red lights all the way from Pudong to Puxi via the Nanpu Bridge.

Patrolling officers tried to stop the two at Lujiabang Road and Henan Road S., but they did not slow down and escaped on Henan Road S., returning back to Pudong via the Fuxing Road E. Tunnel, police said.

Jin and Zhang were later identified by police from surveillance camera footage and were detained, with their motorcycles confiscated. Jin's Yamaha was unlicensed while Zhang was using another person's license plates on his Honda, police found.

Jin and Zhang confessed their crime and the case was handed over to the prosecutors last Wednesday.

City police warned locals not to try racing in the streets, saying they will intensify crackdowns on dangerous driving.

"Street racing seriously disturbs the traffic," police said in the statement.

The police also warned locals not to retrofit their motorcycles, as such vehicles may not easily brake and can harm not only others on the road but the riders themselves.


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