Stunt driving is a dangerous and illegal activity that has seen a significant increase in charges in Canada. They not only risk your life but also endanger others on the road.
Many drivers may not fully understand the penalties associated with this offense. To help you understand the risks and penalties, we’ve created this guide. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
What is Stunt Driving?
Stunt driving refers to a range of reckless driving behaviors that pose risks to road safety. In Ontario, this term is legally defined under the Highway Traffic Act section 172.
Ontario’s strict stunt driving laws cover various actions considered to be stunt driving. These actions include racing, chasing, doing burnouts, and more.
It’s important to avoid getting any kind of ticket because speeding tickets can raise your insurance rates and they may also impact your employment.
Stunt Driving Penalties:
Stunt driving tickets are issued by police officers for excessively speeding. Some behaviors that could land you a stunt driving charge include:
- Exceeding the speed limit by 40 km/h or more on roads below 80 km/h.
- Exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/h or more.
- Intentionally preventing others from passing or Intentionally cutting off other vehicles.
- Intentionally driving too close to vehicles, pedestrians, or objects.
- Driving 150 km/h or more, regardless of the speed limit.
For a comprehensive list of aggressive and high-risk behaviors considered stunt driving or street racing, refer to O. Reg. 455/07 of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA).
Dangerous driving involves operating a vehicle in a way that puts yourself and others at risk. Examples of dangerous driving include:
- Aggressive and erratic driving
- Distracted driving (such as texting while driving)
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Excessive speeding
- Ignoring traffic laws and signals
Penalties for Dangerous Driving:
A criminal record could have long-term consequences including the possibility of jail time, fines ranging from $2,000 to $50,000, criminal probation, and increased insurance rates for at least five years.
Risks of Speeding
Driving at high speeds increases the risk of losing control and being involved in a fatal or severely injurious crash. Consider the following:
Collisions at speeds exceeding 50 km/h over a speed limit of 100 km/h have an 11 times higher risk of fatality or serious injury compared to collisions at or below the posted limit (based on 2013-2017 Ontario data).
Demerit for Excessive Speed:
|Excessive Speed Penalties||Demerit Points|
|16 to 29 km/h over the speed limit||3|
|30 to 49 km/h over the speed limit||4|
|50 km/h or more over the speed limit||6|
Fines for speeding:
|Speeding Range (km/h over limit)||Fine per km|
|Less than 20||$3.00|
|20 to less than 30||$4.50|
|30 to less than 50||$7.00|
|50 or more||$9.75|
- Immediate roadside license suspension for 30 days
- Immediate 14-day vehicle impoundment
- Minimum $2,000 fine, maximum $10,000 fine
- May lead to up to 6 months in jail
- Post-conviction license suspension:
- First conviction: 1 to 3 years
- Second conviction: 3 to 10 years
- Third conviction: Lifetime suspension reducible after 10 years under certain criteria
- Fourth and subsequent convictions: Lifetime suspension with no reduction
- 6 demerit points
- Mandatory driver improvement course
Additional Penalties and Considerations:
- Aggressive, careless, or stunt driving convictions may lead to higher insurance rates or being unable to get an insurance.
- Novice drivers may face at least a 30-day license suspension and possible cancellation for certain offenses.
Tips for Safe Driving and Avoiding Offenses
To stay safe on the road and avoid stunt driving and dangerous driving offenses, consider the following tips:
- Obey all traffic laws and speed limits.
- Stay focused on the road and avoid distractions like cell phones.
- Maintain a safe following distance from other vehicles.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Be patient and respectful towards other drivers.
- Use your turn signals when changing lanes or making turns.
- Stay alert for pedestrians and cyclists.
Stunt driving and dangerous driving are serious offenses with severe consequences. To enhance road safety and save lives, it’s important to understand what these offenses entail and the penalties they carry. By adopting responsible driving practices, respecting traffic rules, and prioritizing the well-being of all road users, we can create safer roads. Let’s work together to prevent accidents caused by reckless driving and make our roads safer for everyone.