THUNDER BAY – NEWS – The offence of racing and stunt driving was first introduced in Ontario in 2007. In 2018, 28% of motor vehicle collisions that occurred in the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) North East Region were caused by excessive speed. Last year, officers in North East Region OPP charged 212 drivers for stunt driving and racing. In the first quarter of 2019, officers within the North East Region OPP have charged 43 drivers. The largest demographic at 39% is between the ages of 21 and 30 and 86% of the people charged were males.
Chief Superintendent Fern Labelle, Commander of the North East Region OPP, advises that “Speeding and aggressive driving remain leading causes of motor vehicle collisions and fatalities on OPP-patrolled roads. Speeding often leads to other aggressive driving behaviours such as following too closely and unsafe lane changes. The North East Region OPP is committed to traffic safety and officers are working hard to reduce these high-risk behaviours and save lives on OPP-patrolled roads.”
But what is stunt driving? We hear a lot in the news about speeding, but what other actions are included in stunt driving? Here are the high-risk actions that fall under the stunt driving section of the Highway Traffic Act:
- All tires not in contact with the highway;
- Speeding by 50 or more km/h above the posted speed limit;
- Cause tire(s) to lose traction;
- Spin or circle vehicle without control;
- Drive with a person in the trunk;
- Driver not in driver’s seat;
- Prevent another vehicle from passing;
- Driving in oncoming traffic portion of highway;
- Stopping or slowing to interfere with another vehicle;
- Driving too close to another vehicle, pedestrian or object; and
- Turn left from red light before oncoming traffic.
The other charge in that section is racing which is described as a race or contest while performing a stunt or on a bet or wager.
The penalties for racing and stunt driving are enormous.
A drivers’ licence is suspended at the roadside for seven days, and the vehicle is impounded for seven days. The impound and storage fees from the tow company alone are huge then, upon conviction fines range between $2,000 and $10,000 or up to six months in jail. For a first offence conviction, a drivers’ licence can be suspended for up to two years and for subsequent offences, up to 10 years.