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Cruising Ordinance Laws

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What Is a Cruising Ordinance?

Cruising, which is different from street racing, is defined as traveling within a specified zone and time with no destination or purpose other than socializing. This includes any socialization that is due to an illegal sideshow. Cruising ordinances are structured around a vehicle unnecessarily passing certain points more than twice within a specified time period. 

Legally Protected Cruising Ordinances

State and local authorities have a legally protected interest in preventing traffic congestion and nuisance in their city, thus cruising ordinances are frequently upheld. Not all ordinances are legal, but courts have upheld local anti-cruising ordinances if they stay within certain measures: 

  • Specific traffic control points such as designated intersections
  • Reasonable restricted area such as business districts and other high traffic congestion areas
  • Reasonable time of enforcement, usually at night
  • Related to a city’s interest such as reduction in traffic or noise pollution

Defenses against a Cruising Violation

If you have been cited as violating a cruising ordinance, you might have a defense if: 

  • The travel was necessary and purposeful such as traveling to a residence or place of business within the restricted zone
  • No intent of socializing while operating the vehicle
  • The ordinance is overbroad and unreasonable by placing too strict conditions on the zone, time or manner or enforcement

Possible Penalties for Cruising 

  • Typically, citations for moving violations involve monetary fines
  • Vehicle insurance rates may be adjusted for violations
  • Possible citation for other violations, such as not wearing a seatbelt or expired registration

Hire a Lawyer to Help You Contest a Speeding or Moving Violation

If you were cited for a cruising violation, you should speak to a lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses and the complicated legal system.

Photo of page author Nicole Shoener

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 07-14-2017 11:59 AM PDT

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