The North East Region OPP issued a statement on April 5 to educate drivers about actions on the road that constitute stunt driving and the penalties drivers could face if they take part.
The offence of racing and stunt driving was introduced in Ontario in 2007. The penalties are severe, starting with a seven-day driver’s licence suspension at the roadside and the vehicle being impounded for seven days. Drivers face hefty impound and storage fees as well as fines ranging between $2,000 and $10,000 upon conviction. They could even spend 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. In the first quarter of 2019, officers in the North East Region OPP have charged 43 drivers. Drivers between the ages of 21 and 30 make up the largest age demographic at 39 per cent while 86 per cent of those charged were male.
“Speeding and aggressive driving remain leading causes of motor vehicle collisions and fatalities on OPP-patrolled roads,” said Chief Superintendent Fern Labelle, commander of the North East Region OPP. “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.”
Last year, 28 per cent of motor vehicle collisions that occurred in the OPP North East Region were caused by excessive speed. Officers in the region charged 212 drivers for stunt driving and racing in 2018.
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 posted speed limit;
- Cause tire(s) to lose traction;
- Spin or circle vehicle without control;
- Drive with person in 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 stunt or on a bet or wager.