Stunt Driving On The Rise In Ontario
In recent years, Ontario has seen an uptick in stunt driving cases, catching public attention and putting law enforcement agencies on high alert. This trend does not merely involve unauthorized speed racing but also covers a range of driving behaviours that the Ontario Provincial Police and other enforcement bodies deem as dangerous to public safety. As this becomes a growing issue, it is crucial for drivers in Ontario to be fully aware of what stunt driving entails, its penalties, and how to deal with charges if you find yourself in such a situation.
What Is Considered Stunt Driving?
Stunt driving in Ontario covers a broad scope of actions that deviate significantly from conventional driving behaviour. Under the Highway Traffic Act and the Provincial Offences Act, this can include, but is not limited to, excessive speeding, abrupt lane changes without signaling, and even wheelies for motorcycle riders. It’s a common misconception that stunt driving solely involves elaborate and dangerous actions frequently seen in movies; even minor actions that pose a risk to public safety can be classified under this category.
Things You May Not Know About Stunt Driving In Ontario
Regulation and Permits
Some people might assume that stunt driving is entirely illegal. However, there are instances where these actions are legally sanctioned, such as in organized car rallies or closed-course events. In such cases, the event organizers usually have to procure specific permits from local municipalities and adhere to stringent safety regulations.
Collaboration with Law Enforcement
You might be surprised to know that event organizers often collaborate closely with law enforcement agencies. This is to ensure that the stunt driving is carried out in a controlled environment and poses minimal risk to the general public. Police may also be present at the event to supervise and make sure all regulations are being followed.
Updates To Stunt Driving Rules In Ontario
Regulations surrounding stunt driving are not static. In response to the increasing numbers and new types of stunts, the Ontario government frequently updates its rules. For instance, lowered thresholds for what constitutes excessive speeding have recently been enacted, making it easier for enforcement bodies to charge drivers.
Insurance and Liability
A stunt driving charge can have a tremendous impact on your auto insurance premiums. In some instances, insurers may even drop your coverage altogether. Besides, it’s not just drivers who can be held accountable; event organizers could also face liability issues if safety measures are not adequately implemented.
Stunt Performers’ Know-How
While many believe that stunt driving is the domain of reckless individuals, it’s crucial to note that professional stunt performers undergo rigorous training and adhere to strict safety guidelines. However, these professionals should not be confused with those who perform dangerous stunts without appropriate measures on public roads.
Navigating Insurance Complexities
If charged with stunt driving or racing in Ontario, it’s not just the legal penalties you need to worry about. Insurance ramifications can be equally complex and severe. Premiums often skyrocket after a conviction, making it difficult to maintain coverage, and in some cases, policies might be terminated.
What is the Penalty for Stunt Driving in Ontario?
Penalties for stunt driving are severe. They include:
For a first-time offence, individuals can expect a fine that ranges from $2,000 to $10,000. This significant financial penalty aims to discourage dangerous driving behaviour and serves as a stark warning to drivers considering stunt driving. It is essential to note that failing to pay the fine within the designated period can lead to additional complications, including increased fees or legal action.
Immediate 14-day administrative license suspension at the scene of the offence. Furthermore, if convicted, you may face a license suspension of up to three years. For subsequent offences, the suspension period can be even longer, thereby having a significant impact on your personal and perhaps professional life.
Your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days immediately upon being charged, irrespective of whether you are eventually found guilty or not. This adds a layer of logistical challenges and financial burden, as you will be responsible for all towing and storage fees.
Although demerit points are not directly issued for a stunt driving conviction, the accumulation of other convictions or the presence of demerit points on your record can exacerbate the situation. The demerit points can contribute to longer-term license suspension if you accrue too many within a specific period.
Although less common for first-time offenders, a term of imprisonment for not more than six months is also within the realm of possibility, particularly for repeat offenders or those involved in especially egregious or harmful instances of stunt driving.
In addition to these legal penalties, there are long-lasting ramifications. Your insurance premiums could skyrocket, or your insurance could even be cancelled. Having a stunt driving conviction on your record can also hinder employment opportunities, especially in fields requiring a clean record.
How To Fight Stunt Driving Charges in Ontario?
When faced with a stunt driving charge, many might assume that the case is indefensible. However, this is far from true. Legal professionals like those at Traffic Paralegal Services are wholly devoted to fighting tickets and charges under the Provincial Offences Act and Highway Traffic Act. With an in-depth understanding of the legislation, procedural requirements, and effective defence strategies, they are well-equipped to challenge stunt driving charges.
Stunt driving in Ontario is a complex issue that goes beyond daredevil actions on the road. It involves intricate regulations, collaborations with law enforcement, and severe legal and insurance repercussions. If you find yourself facing a stunt driving charge, remember that help is available. Hiring paralegal services with a focus in this area can significantly aid you in navigating the complexities of the charge and possibly even having it dropped.