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Street Racing / Stunt Driving

Region: Ontario Answer # 529

The Ontario Highway Traffic Act make street racing and stunt driving illegal. The Ontario Government has amended section 172 of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) to include new legislation which increases penalties for drivers caught engaging in aggressive and unsafe driving such as street racing and stunt driving. The Moving Ontarians More Safely Act (MOMS Act) came into effect on July 1, 2021.

What is Stunt Driving / Street Racing?

Under Section 172(1) of the Act, “No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway in a race or contest, while performing a stunt or on a bet or wager.”

Definition of Street Racing

Under Regulation 455/07 of the HTA: Races Contests and Stunts:

For the purposes of section 172 of the Act, “stunt” includes any activity

2. (1) For the purposes of section 172 of the Act, “race” and “contest”
Includes any activity where one or more persons engage in any of the following driving behaviours:

1. Driving two or more motor vehicles at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed and in a manner that indicates the drivers of the motor vehicles are engaged in a competition.

2. Driving a motor vehicle in a manner that indicates an intention to chase another motor vehicle.

3. Driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway or in a manner that may endanger any person by

i. driving a motor vehicle at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed,

ii. outdistancing or attempting to outdistance one or more other motor vehicles while driving at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed, or

iii. repeatedly changing lanes in close proximity to other vehicles so as to advance through the ordinary flow of traffic while driving at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed. O. Reg. 455/07, s. 2 (1).

Definition of Stunt Driving

For the purposes of section 172 of the Act, “stunt” includes any activity where one or more persons engage in any of the following driving behaviours:

1. Driving a motor vehicle in a manner that indicates an intention to lift some or all of its tires from the surface of the highway, including driving a motorcycle with only one wheel in contact with the ground, but not including the use of lift axles on commercial motor vehicles.

2. Driving a motor vehicle in a manner that indicates an intention to cause some or all of its tires to lose traction with the surface of the highway while turning.

3. Driving a motor vehicle in a manner that indicates an intention to spin it or cause it to circle, without maintaining control over it.

4. Driving two or more motor vehicles side by side or in proximity to each other, where one of the motor vehicles occupies a lane of traffic or other portion of the highway intended for use by oncoming traffic for a period of time that is longer than is reasonably required to pass another motor vehicle.

5. Driving a motor vehicle with a person in the trunk of the motor vehicle.

6. Driving a motor vehicle while the driver is not sitting in the driver’s seat.

7. Driving a motor vehicle at a rate of speed that is 40 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit, if the speed limit is less than 80 kilometres per hour.

7.0.1 Driving a motor vehicle at a rate of speed that is 50 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit, if the speed limit is 80 kilometres per hour or more.

7.1 Driving a motor vehicle at a rate of speed that is 150 kilometres per hour or more.

Penalties

Motorists convicted of stunt driving or street racing face:

  • an immediate 30-day roadside driver’s licence suspension (up from previous penalty of 7 days), and
  •  a 14-day vehicle impoundment (up from previous penalty of one week), and
  • a minimum fine of $2,000 up-to a maximum of $10,000 and/or imprisonment of six months

The Court may also make an order suspending the person’s driver’s licence:

  • for a first conviction, a minimum of one to three years
  • for a second conviction, a minimum of three to 10 years
  • for a third conviction, an indefinite suspension with the possibility of it being reinstated at a later date
  • for a fourth conviction within 10 years, the licence is suspended permanently

For more information, view the Ontario Highway Traffic Act.

Criminal Code offences

Drivers engaged in street racing or stunt driving may also be charged under Section 130 of the HTA with Careless Driving, as well as with offences under the Criminal Code, such as Dangerous Driving or Criminal Negligence.

Get help

If you have a criminal record because of a criminal driving offence (or any other criminal charge), and wish to erase your record, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think.

For legal advice and representation to fight a traffic ticket, contact our preferred Highway Traffic paralegals, Nicola (Nick) Giannantonio Legal Services.

 


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