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Ontario plans for harsher penalties for speeding, stunt driving


May 24, 2021
By Blue Line Staff

Ontario plans to increase penalties for speeding, stunt driving and other traffic violations, saying it has seen a spike in the offences since the pandemic hit. In April, the Ontario government introduced legislation that would, among other things, increase vehicle impoundment times and lengthen licence suspensions.

The legislation would see roadside vehicle impoundment increase from seven days to 14 days, and roadside driver’s licence suspensions extended from seven days to 30 days. It also introduces escalating post-conviction licence suspensions, up to a lifetime ban for a fourth infraction. It would also lower the threshold for laying street racing charges for those travelling 40 km/h or more above the posted limit on roads where the speed limit is less than 80 km/h. The government reported that stunt driving offences have been on the rise since 2015, with a large spike seen last year. Police laid 796 stunt driving charges in Toronto between March 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020, an increase of 222 per cent over the same period in 2019.

The government also plans to introduce measures to protect vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and highway workers, improve truck safety and strengthen the province’s oversight of the towing sector. If passed, the Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act would require tow operators, tow truck drivers and vehicle storage operators to be certified, and set new standards for customer protection and roadside behaviours, including penalties for non-compliance.

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