In Ontario, Canada, there are strict laws when it comes to driving. However, some people choose to break the law and drive recklessly. This can often lead to dangerous situations on the road.
Earlier this week, a group of teenagers was caught driving dangerously in a residential neighbourhood. They were doing stunts and speeding through the streets, putting other drivers at risk. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but this could have easily ended in tragedy.
The police are warning all drivers to be careful when on the roads, especially during peak hours. They advise obeying all traffic laws and using caution when travelling near busy areas.
Dangerous driving in Ontario can result in significant penalties, including a criminal record. It is important to know the charges and penalties for dangerous and careless driving to make informed decisions about your driving behaviour.
This blog post will discuss the consequences of dangerous driving in Ontario. We will also respond to some of the most frequently asked questions about this topic.
What is Dangerous Driving?
Dangerous driving is defined as operating a vehicle in a manner that creates an unreasonable risk of injury or death to the driver, passengers, or others on the road.
Dangerous driving covers many dangerous and careless behaviours behind the wheel. It can include anything:
- driving 40 km/h or more above the posted speed limit on roads with a speed limit of less than 80km/h
- driving 50 km/h or more above the posted speed limit
- driving a motor vehicle to prevent another vehicle from passing
- street racing
- driving stunts
- driving in a way that prevents other vehicles from passing
- intentionally cutting off another vehicle
- intentionally driving too close to another vehicle, pedestrian, or fixed object
- tailgating or following too closely
- cutting off other drivers, or cutting in front and then slowing down
- refusing to yield the right of way
What is the Dangerous Driving Charge & Penalty?
Dangerous driving is often seen as a more serious offence than careless driving, as it involves a deliberate disregard for the safety of others. In some cases, dangerous driving can be classed as a criminal offence, carrying penalties such as a prison sentence, a fine, or a driving ban.
The criminal code of Canada section 320.13 (1), (2), and (3) reads:
- 320.13.1: Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public.
- 320.13.2: Operation causing bodily harm: Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public and, as a result, causes bodily harm to another person.
- 320.13.3: Operation causing death: Everyone commits an offence who operates a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all of the circumstances, is dangerous to the public and, as a result, causes the death of another person.
If you have been involved in an accident where someone has been killed or seriously injured, you could be charged with causing death by dangerous driving or causing serious injury by dangerous driving. The penalties for dangerous driving include:
- Fines from $2,000 to $50,000
- Six demerit points
- A maximum of two years in jail
- Enrollment in driver’s improvement course
- You will receive a one-year licence suspension the first time you are convicted of a Criminal Code offence.
- Subsequent offences increase substantially to a lifetime ban from driving.
- Convictions will remain on your driver’s record for a minimum of 10 years.
What is Careless Driving?
Careless driving is a type of dangerous driving that can cause accidents and injuries. Careless driving is often the result of drivers not paying attention to their surroundings or being distracted.
It can also be caused by drivers under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You could be fined or even arrested if you are caught driving carelessly. If you cause an accident while driving carelessly, you could be sued for damages. Careless driving might include:
- running red lights
- excessive lane changes or weaving through traffic
- passing too close to cyclists
- stopping on a pedestrian crosswalk at an intersection
- repeatedly honking or for no reason
- intentionally cutting off another vehicle
What is the Careless Driving Charge & Penalty?
The Careless Driving in Highway Traffic Act of Ontario is a traffic violation. Careless driving is generally considered a minor traffic offense. It is important to know what the charge entails and how to fight it if you are facing this type of charge.
The Highway Traffic Act of Ontario defines careless driving charges as:
130 (1) Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or streetcar on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway.
130 (3) Every person is guilty of the offence of driving carelessly who drives a vehicle or streetcar on a highway without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway and who thereby causes bodily harm or death to any person.
If you have been involved in an accident and it was found that your driving was careless or irresponsible but not actually dangerous, you may still face penalties. These penalties might include:
- A minimum fine of $2,000 and a maximum fine of $10,000
- Six demerit points
- A maximum of six months in jail
- An immediate 30-day driver’s licence suspension
- An immediate 14-day vehicle impoundment at the roadside (whether it is your vehicle or not)
Dangerous and careless driving are both serious offences in Ontario. If you are convicted of either of these charges, you could face significant penalties, including fines, jail time, and a licence suspension. If you cause an accident while driving dangerously or carelessly, you could also be sued for damages.
If you are facing a dangerous or careless driving charge, it is important to know your rights and options. Speak to a lawyer to learn more about defending yourself against these charges.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between dangerous and careless driving?
Dangerous driving is defined as driving a conveyance in a manner that, having regard to all the circumstances, is dangerous to the public. Careless driving is defined as driving a conveyance without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway.
What is the value of a careless driving ticket?
In Ontario, Canada, a careless driving ticket typically costs about $200. However, the price can increase to upwards of $1,000 if the driver has any prior convictions on their record. If the case goes to court, the maximum fine a judge can give is $2,000. Demerit points are also added to the driver’s record.
Driving records are public in Canada, so potential employers, insurance companies, and others can see the driver’s history. A clean driving record is important for keeping insurance rates low.
Can dangerous driving lead to licence suspension in Ontario, Canada?
Yes, dangerous driving can lead to license suspension in Ontario. The province has a strict set of rules and regulations regarding driving, and if you are caught breaking these rules, you could face serious consequences.
These consequences could include a license suspension. So, if you want to avoid having your license suspended, make sure to drive safely and obey all traffic laws.
What things must a court consider before convicting a driver for dangerous driving?
There are several things that a court must take into account before convicting a driver of dangerous driving. According to the criminal code of Canada, to convict a person of dangerous driving, the court must consider:
- Whether the driving created a substantial risk of death or serious injury to another person
- Whether the driver knew, or ought to have known, that their driving created such a risk.
In addition, the court will also look at aggravating factors such as:
- Whether the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- The nature, condition, and use of the place where the offence occurred.
- The circumstances in which it was committed.
- The offender’s driving history and any previous convictions for similar offences.
- The amount of traffic that at the time was or might reasonably have been expected to be at that place.
- Whether the victim was a particularly vulnerable road user, such as a pedestrian or cyclist.
- The standard of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances.
- Any lawful excuse that the accused may have had for their actions.
- Whether the incident occurred in a school zone.
If the court finds that the driver’s actions amounted to dangerous driving, they will be sentenced accordingly. The maximum penalty for dangerous driving causing death is imprisonment.
The court also has the discretion to disqualify the driver from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence or cancel the driver’s licence entirely.
How to fight dangerous driving charges?
If you have been charged with dangerous driving in Ontario, Canada, you can do a few things to fight the charges.
First, it is important to contact a lawyer who specializes in this area of the law. This will give you the best chance of success in your case.
Second, you should try to obtain as much evidence as possible to support your case. This may include witnesses, video footage, or even expert testimony.
Finally, you should be prepared to go to trial if necessary. With the help of an experienced lawyer, you can fight these charges and avoid a conviction.
What will happen if you are stopped while driving dangerously?
If police stop you for driving dangerously in Ontario, Canada, there are a few things you will need to do.
- First, you will need to show the officer your license and registration.
- Next, you will need to step out of the vehicle and stand with your hands at your sides.
- The officer will then frisk you for weapons.
- Finally, you will be arrested and taken to the station for booking.
Who is a criminal defence lawyer?
A criminal defence lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in defending people who have been charged with a crime. If you have been charged with dangerous driving, you should contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible.
A criminal defence lawyer’s job is to represent their client in court and get the best possible outcome for them. This may mean getting the criminal charge against their client dropped, or it may mean getting a reduced sentence. However, in some cases, you might have to plead guilty.
What are street racing and driving stunts?
According to Ontario Highway Traffic Act, street racing includes:
- A race or contest, whether or not for money or another prize, between two or more persons in or on motor vehicles on a highway.
- Chasing other vehicles on the road.
- Changing lanes excessively and driving erratically or dangerously.
And stunt driving includes:
- Driving a motor vehicle in a manner that indicates an intention to prevent another vehicle from passing.
- Driving 50 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit
- Intentionally cutting off another vehicle
- Intentionally driving too close to another vehicle, pedestrian, or fixed object
Street racing and driving stunts are both illegal in Canada. If you are caught street racing or driving stunts, you will be subject to stiff penalties, including a possible jail sentence. If you are convicted of street racing or driving stunts, your driver’s licence will be automatically suspended, and you will be required to attend a mandatory driver re-education program. Your vehicle may also be impounded.