As the Province shuts down for another Covid Closure, or what is being referred to as “emergency brakes”, it appears many driver’s in Ontario have forsaken their brakes! According to a recent news report, Stunt Driving offences are up a whopping 222%, just in Toronto! The Ontario Provincial Police are noticing the same trend as more and more drivers are being pulled over for exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/h or more.
The maximum speed limit in Ontario is 100km/h, except for a few test areas that allow for 110 km/h. When the Province announced the testing of a 110 km/h speed limit zone, they also made an amendment to the Stunt Regulation to include section 7.1 which says, “anyone travelling at 150 km/h or more”. This means if you are in the 110 km/h zone and going at 150 km/h, you’re NOT 40 over, you’re actually Stunt Driving. This is just one of the ways you can commit the offence of Stunt Driving.
Stunt Driving during Covid-19
For the purposes of this blog, we are just discussing the increase in Speeders that fall in the Stunt Driving Category, due to Covid. As indicated, exceeding the posted speed limit by 50 km/h or travelling at a speed of 150 km/h anywhere in Ontario, could result in a Stunt Driving charge. Automatically, if accused of Stunt, your vehicle will be impounded for 7 days and your license will be suspended for 7 days. Those are legislated administrative penalties, which you can do nothing about, not even to release the vehicle from impound, if it wasn’t yours. Further the owner of the vehicle is entitled to go after you for the costs of the tow, impound, etc. So if you’re going to speed, make sure you’re in your vehicle and not somebody else’s, since you might be paying for them too!
Stunt Driving Penalties
There have been multiple reports of stunt driving allegations recently, ever since Covid began. The roads have been empty and people, mostly younger adults, are testing the emptiness to see just how quickly their automobiles can go. These individuals will be facing some steep penalties upon conviction of the offence. A fine ranging from $2000 to $10000, plus costs and surcharges which range from $500 to $2500, on top of the fine! Other penalties include a license suspension and incarceration (jail time) See below:
Criminal Code Definition of Stunt Driving
(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not less than $2,000 and not more than $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both, and in addition his or her driver’s licence may be suspended,
(a) on a first conviction under this section, for not more than two years; or
(b) on a subsequent conviction under this section, for not more than 10 years. 2007, c. 13, s. 21.
These are some of the most severe penalties in the Highway Traffic Act, with only the recently added Careless Causing Bodily Harm or Death, being more severe. When you’re facing penalties of this magnitude, you should seek the assistance of a Licensed Paralegal to help you navigate the charges you are faced with.
Stunt Driving Case Studies
Driver in Quinte West going 163 kilometres an hour.
The person charged in this case with Stunt Driving should seek legal advice. In his/her pursuit to attend a birthday party he/she was pulled over and charged with Stunt Driving. I’m sure the birthday person they were attending (or trying to attend) missed on an amazing gift. Though I’m sure they will understand why it will be late, when they realize that the person has far bigger challenges awaiting them.
As the officer stated, Ontario Highways are not speedways. For those of you that are inclined to test and push your vehicles to the max, here is a list of Speedways in Ontario, where you can go and see if you can hit the maximum speed on the speedometer. Bring your cars to these tracks, you won’t get a ticket, you won’t be impounded, and you won’t be suspended for it when you pass the 150km/h threshold. Only concern is if you crash, then you’ll have to get another ride home!
Either or, due to Covid and especially when Lockdowns occur, you might wish to pause a bit before you put the pedal to the metal when the roads are empty! Check your speed, before you have to check the meter of the Cab/Uber that is driving you home! Eventually after the impound, suspension and charge, you will spend up to a few thousand dollars. You should contact a Licensed Paralegal to at least review your options and hopefully save you on all sides.