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Ontario's Stunt Driving Penalties Are Officially Harsher Now

Ontario is cracking down on drivers with a need for speed. On July 1, 2021, the province's new Moving Ontarians More Safely Act (MOMS) came into effect, which aims to combat stunt driving, street racing and aggressive driving with longer license suspensions and vehicle impoundments.

Anyone caught driving 40 km/h or more over the speed limit where the limit is 80 km/h or lower will have their driver's license suspended for 30 days and their vehicle impounded for 14 days. This will also apply to drivers going 50 km/h over the speed limit where the limit is set at 80 km/h or higher.

Previously, the penalties were a seven-day license suspension and seven-day vehicle impoundment.

Those who are found guilty of a stunt driving offence could face a fine of $2,000 to $10,000, imprisonment for no more than six months, or both, according to the MOMS Act.

Drivers could get their license suspended for one to three years on a first conviction, three to 10 years for a second conviction, and a potential lifetime suspension for a third conviction.

"I hope that the passing of the MOMS Act will be a needed wake-up call for drivers to follow the rules and to be aware of their actions on the road," said Toronto Mayor John Tory when the legislation was introduced.

Stunt driving is a worsening problem in Ontario

According to the Ministry of Transportation, roadside license suspensions related to street racing and stunt driving went up by 130% between 2013 and 2019 in the province.

This problem has gotten even worse since the pandemic started, with an additional 52% increase in stunt driving-related license suspensions between March and August 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

In May 2020, police charged a 19-year-old with stunt driving for going over 300 km/h on the Queen Elizabeth Highway (QEW).*

The emptier roads during Ontario's first lockdown in March 2020 seemed to provide new opportunities for street racing, and Toronto police charged a group of drivers for "taking advantage of quieter roads" on the DVP.

*This article has been updated.

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