A recent survey conducted on behalf of CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) indicates that 55 per cent of Ontario drivers admit to engaging in unsafe driving, while 95 per cent say they have witnessed dangerous driving from other motorists. Some of the most common dangerous driving behaviours over the last year include speeding, distracted driving, unsafely changing lanes and aggressive driving.
The survey also identified that many motorists in the province are unaware that some of these dangerous driving behaviours are considered stunt driving. According to the survey, only 24 per cent of Ontario drivers are aware of all the offences that account for stunt driving.
“Many motorists think stunt driving is just a combination of excessive speeding and doing reckless tricks, but it also includes aggressive behaviours such as road rage and weaving through traffic,” said Raymond Chan, manager of government relations at CAA SCO. “These reckless actions behind the wheel can have serious consequences and should never occur on our roads, especially in residential areas and community safety zones.”
As of July 1, 2021, increased stunt driving penalties have been implemented in Ontario under the Moving Ontarians More Safely (MOMS) Act. Drivers will now face longer vehicle impoundments and may be charged with stunt driving when traveling in excess of 40km/h on roads where the posted speed limit is under 80km/h. As well those who drive 50km/h or more over the posted speed on roads where the speed limit is 80km/h or more, can result in stunt driving charges.
Further penalties are expected to come into effect in Fall 2021, including longer licence suspensions and new escalating sanctions for repeat offenders.
Of those surveyed, three quarters (74 per cent) agree that stricter penalties and increased fines for stunt driving would help discourage drivers from driving dangerously.
“When you engage in stunt driving, it could cost you your driver’s licence, your car, and most importantly, your life or the lives of others,” said Chan. “As we continue to see increased pedestrian and cycling traffic during the summer months, our hope is that tougher penalties will curb driver’s impulse to drive dangerously and help contribute to safer roads for everyone.”
The poll, commissioned by CAA SCO and conducted by Campaign Research between March 15th to 22nd, 2021, surveyed 1,504 Ontarians that hold a valid driver’s licence through online surveys. A probabilistic sample of a similar size would have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.
SOURCE CAA South Central Ontario