Stunt Driving In Ontario
In Ontario, stunt driving is unlawful. Additionally, it’s really risky. The consequences of being detected can include expensive fines and changes to your vehicle insurance. Despite the fact that the rule has been there for a while, many drivers aren’t clear about what constitutes a violation or what the consequences are.
Knowing what the government is doing to safeguard communities and how you can drive more safely is crucial as the numbers rise.
Updates to Ontario's Stunt Driving Regulations in July 2021
The MOMS Act (Moving Ontarians More Safely Act 2021), which goes into effect on July 1, 2021, has included new regulations to address reckless driving and enhance road safety. With this new legislation, drivers who participate in street racing and stunt driving will face extended license suspension and impoundment terms.
The most recent fees, fines, and punishments for stunt driving are listed below:
- Drivers who are caught engaging in street racing or stunt driving now face immediate penalties of a 30-day license suspension and a 14-day car impoundment, up from the previous seven-day maximum.
- Stunt driving charges will be brought against anyone caught going more than 40 km/h over the speed limit where the top speed is less than 80 km/h.
- a fine of at least $2,000 and possibly much more
What Recognizes as Stunt Driving?
Stunt driving is the act of excessive speeding, street racing, competition, and participating in risky driving techniques while operating a motor vehicle on a road or highway in Ontario. Driving is reckless and endangers other people. Even for a first offence, there are severe penalties.
There was a 35% rise in speeding fines between March 15 and March 31, 2020. A total of 65 tickets were given out to motorists who exceeded the speed limit by more than 50 km/h.
It’s crucial to understand that driving stunts don’t just involve speeding. With springs, styling upgrades, or high-performance motors, drivers add illegal or enhanced automotive modifications to maximise performance.
The Ontario Highway Traffic Act’s Section 172(1) states the following:
“No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway in a race or contest, while performing a stunt or on a bet or wager.”
Here are the many different driving actions that fall within the stunt driving category :
- 50 km/h or more over the speed limit where the limit is above 80 km/h.
- 40 km/h or more over the speed limit where the limit is 80 km/h or less.
- Driving at a speed of 150 km/h or more.
- Tire squealing, burnouts, or driving with the intention to cause some or all tires to lose traction.
- Cutting off another driver intentionally or driving too closely.
- Doing doughnuts, drifting, or driving a vehicle with the intention to spin.
- Not allowing other vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians to pass, change directions, or have the right of way.
- Driving your vehicle while not in the driver’s seat (known as ghost riding the whip).
- Driving with a person in the trunk of your vehicle or an extra seat.
- Driving without regard for road conditions and driving circumstances.
- Popping wheelies or driving with the intention to lift some or all your tires from the surface.
- Careless driving without reasonable concern or attention for others or endangering others.
Even though you may not be performing stunts or racing, you can still face penalties related to stunt driving, including hitting the gas heavy when the light turns green and making a left before the other cars come through.
What would happen and what consequences If You were Found Guilty of Stunt Driving?
If you are convicted of stunt driving in Ontario, you could face the following driver’s license suspensions :
- First offence : minimum of one year but up to three years.
- Second offence : minimum of three years but up to 10 years.
- Third offence : lifetime suspension that may be reduced later — to be established by regulation.
- Fourth and subsequent offences : lifetime suspension.
As of January 2022, the Ontario government added $250 for a first offence, $350 for a second and $450 for a third within five years when motorists lose their licences.
Stunt driving is typically not a crime or a violation of the criminal code because it is covered by the Highway Traffic Act. However, it is still a very serious offence, and depending on the accident and the circumstances, you can be charged, fined, and sentenced to jail.
What Is Toronto's Street Racing Fine?
The practise of racing cars or motorcycles on public highways is known as “street racing.” In Toronto, street racing is a common occurrence at all hours of the day and night. The Gardiner Expressway, Spadina, and Don Valley Parkway also appear to be popular urban racetracks.
In the Greater Toronto Area in just one month of 2019, 304 drivers were charged for street racing on 400-series freeways. Police detained 19 persons in connection with street racing in North York during the outbreak.
Street racing in Toronto can result in penalties for stunt driving, including licence suspension, car seizure, and fines starting at $2,000, as well as other penalties.