OPP advise of changes to Highway Traffic Act for racing/stunt driving

OPP East Region Headquarters in Smiths Falls. Kingstonist file photo.

New legislation will come into effect regarding the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) for racing/stunt driving on Thursday, Jul. 1, 2021.

The first change is an increase in the previous seven-day vehicle impoundment period to 14 days, according to a report from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). 

The second change is the introduction of a lower speed threshold for street racing offenders on municipal roads, OPP said. On roads with a posted speed limit of less than 80 km/h, drivers caught travelling 40 km/h over the speed limit face racing/stunt driving charges. The previous limit was 50 km/h over the speed limit. 

The penalties for street racing/stunt driving are:

Pre-conviction: Immediate 7-day licence suspension and a 14-day vehicle impoundment (previously 7 days).

Currently, upon conviction offenders will face:

  • Minimum fine between $200 and $2,000
  • Maximum fine between $1,000 and $10,000
  • Court-ordered licence suspension (2 years for a first conviction and 10 years for a second conviction)

Aggressive driving is dangerous and is a leading causal factor in fatal motor vehicle collisions on OPP-patrolled roads, according to the report. OPP said speed-related fatalities are up about 30 per cent this year. As of June 21, 33 people have died in speed-related collisions. By comparison there were 25 such deaths at this time last year. The OPP said they remain committed to saving lives on roads, waterways and trails.

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