What is stunt driving? This is a question that many Ontario drivers ask, especially after seeing the numerous headlines in the news about people being charged with stunt driving. This blog post will discuss what exactly is included in the definition of stunt driving in Ontario, Canada.
We will also explore the penalties and charges associated with stunt driving, as well as how to fight these charges. Finally, we will answer some frequently asked questions about stunts and driving.
What is Stunt Driving?
Stunt driving is a dangerous and illegal practice where drivers perform stunts or other dangerous maneuvers in their vehicles. This includes things like speeding, street racing, “burnouts,” donuts, and other reckless driving. Stunt driving can lead to accidents, injuries, and even deaths.
It is a crime in many states and can result in fines, jail time, and the loss of your driver’s license. If you are caught stunt driving, you could be putting yourself and others at risk. So please, don’t do it.
What is Included in Stunt Driving?
Stunt driving in Ontario is governed by the Highway Traffic Act. Under this act, stunt driving is defined as any dangerous driving maneuver that could endanger the lives of others or cause property damage. This includes the following activities:
- Anyone driving over 150 kilometres per hour.
- Driving 40 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit on roads with a speed limit of less than 80 kilometres per hour.
- Driving 50 kilometers per hour or more above the speed limit.
- Intentionally driving to lose traction on the road.
- Driving in a way that prevents other vehicles from passing without following a traffic control signal system.
- Intentionally cutting off another vehicle.
- Intentionally driving too close to another vehicle, pedestrian, or fixed object.
- Chasing another motor vehicle.
- Changing lanes repeatedly at a high rate of speed and weaving through traffic.
What Will Happen if You are Caught Stunt Driving in Ontario?
If you are caught stunt driving motor vehicles in Ontario following things will happen:
- The police officer will stop you.
- He will ask to see your licence.
- He will check if you have a previous stunt driving conviction.
- If it is your first time, the police officer will give you a warning and let you go.
- If you have been caught stunt driving before, the police officer penalizes you according to the severity of the offence.
- He will give you three documents, a court summons, a notice for suspension of driver’s licence for 30 days, and a notice for the seizure of your car for 7 days or more. These three documents combined will make the stunt driving ticket.
- You will have to appear in court and face stunt driving charge.
- If you are found guilty, your licence will be suspended for a year, and you will be fined.
- You might have to face motor vehicle impoundment for 7 days or more.
What is the Penalty for Stunt Driving in Ontario?
The consequences of stunt driving in Ontario are very serious. If you are caught stunt driving a motor vehicle, you might have to face the following consequences:
- A driver’s licence suspension of 30 days is imposed immediately if you are convicted.
- An immediate 14-day vehicle impoundment at the roadside (whether it is your vehicle or not)
- A minimum fine of $2,000 and a maximum fine of $10,000
- A sentence of six months to one year is possible.
- Based on your rate of conviction, you will have to face these consequences:
- If this is your first conviction, your licence may be suspended for a minimum of one year and a maximum of three years.
- If this is your second conviction, your licence may be suspended for a minimum of three years and a maximum of 10 years.
- If this is your third conviction, your licence may be suspended for a lifetime suspension, reducible after 10 years under certain criteria.
- For fourth and subsequent offences, your licence may be suspended for a lifetime, which will also be non-reducible.
- Six demerit points might be added to your driving record.
- You will have to enroll in a mandatory driver improvement course upon conviction.
How To Fight Stunt Driving Charges in Ontario?
If you have been charged with stunt driving in Ontario, you can do a few things to fight the charges and avoid a conviction.
1. Hire a qualified stunt driving lawyer specializing in stunt driving cases. This is the best way to ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the best chance of winning your case.
2. Gather evidence to support your innocence. This may include witness statements, video footage, or anything else that can help prove that you were not driving dangerously.
3. Challenge the police officer’s testimony. In many cases, stunt driving charges are based on the officer’s opinion of what constitutes dangerous driving. If you can show that the officer’s opinion is not credible, you may be able to get the charges against you dropped.
4. Show that you were not driving dangerously. In some cases, stunt driving charges are based on the assumption that anyone driving over the speed limit is automatically driving dangerously. However, this is not always the case. If you can show that while you were in the driver’s seat, you were driving at a safe speed, obeying all traffic laws, and not endangering other drivers, you may be able to get the charges against you dropped.
5. Show that the conditions were not conducive to stunt driving. In some cases, stunt driving charges are based on the assumption that anyone driving in certain weather or road conditions is automatically driving dangerously. However, this is not always the case. If you can show that the conditions were not conducive to stunt driving, and you had to speed in response to oncoming traffic, you may be able to get the charges against you dropped.
6. Or, as a last resort, you may plead guilty and look for a reduced sentence. But this is the least recommended defence strategy of all.
If you are facing stunt driving charges in Ontario, it is important to consult with a qualified lawyer who can help you build a strong defence and protect your rights. With the right legal representation, you may be able to have the charges against you dropped or reduced, avoiding a potentially costly and life-changing conviction.
What are the Exceptions in Highway Traffic Act for Stunt Driving?
There are a few exceptions to the stunt driving laws in the Highway Traffic Act. These include:
1. Driving in a manner that is not safe but not necessarily stunts driving. This could include things like swerving in and out of traffic or speeding in a construction zone. or changing lanes when one or more motor vehicles occupies your lance.
2. Performing a legitimate racing activity, such as a drag strip or closed-course racing event.
3. Participating in a parade, funeral procession, or emergency response situation.
4. Driving a farm vehicle, construction equipment, or other large vehicles that are not designed for stunt driving.
5. Getting instruction from a licensed driving instructor.
6. Being a movie or television productions crew member and driving within the scope of your work.
Stunt driving is a serious offence in Ontario and comes with significant penalties. If you have been charged with stunt driving, it is important to consult with a qualified lawyer who can help you build a strong defence and protect your rights. With the right legal representation, you may be able to have the charges against you dropped or reduced, avoiding a potentially costly and life-changing conviction.
It is a major problem on our roads today and needs to be stopped. If you see someone driving dangerously, report it to the police. Do not try to stop them yourself, as this could lead to an accident. Help keep our roads safe and free of stunt drivers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you face licence suspension due to stunt driving?
Yes, you can face licence suspension due to stunt driving in Ontario. The consequences for stunt driving are serious and can include a fine of up to $10,000, up to 6 months in jail, and a licence suspension of up to 2 years.
How to get your vehicle back if it is seized due to stunt driving?
If your vehicle has been seized due to a stunt driving in Ontario, you can contact the police department that seized your vehicle to find out how to get it back. You may have to pay a fine and/or appear in court. If your vehicle is impounded for seven days or more, you may also have to pay impound fees.
Why is stunt driving on the rise in Ontario?
Stunt driving has been on the rise in Ontario for various reasons. One reason is that there are more young drivers on the road. Young drivers are more likely to take risks behind the wheel, and they are also more likely to be involved in crashes.
Another reason is that cars have become more powerful and faster, making it easier to do stunts. Finally, more media coverage of stunt driving may make it seem like a more acceptable activity.
Is stunt driving a criminal offence?
No, stunt driving is not a criminal offence in Ontario. However, it is a provincial offence that can lead to fines, demerit points, and a licence suspension. If you are caught stunt driving, you may be charged with dangerous driving, which is a criminal offence.
While what constitutes a “stunt” can vary, most jurisdictions agree that it involves any type of dangerous or erratic driving done for entertainment or showmanship. In some cases, such as when a death or serious injury occurs, charges of reckless driving or even vehicular homicide may be filed.
How long does stunt driving stay on your record in Ontario?
Stunt driving is a serious offence in Ontario. If you are convicted of stunt driving, your licence will be suspended for seven days, and your vehicle will be impounded for seven days. Your insurance company will also be notified, and your insurance rates may increase. The conviction will stay on your record for at least three years.
Can stunt driving charges affect your car insurance rates?
Most insurance companies will penalize drivers with a surcharge if they’re convicted of stunt driving. The surcharge amount varies, but it can be as much as 25% of your premium. So, if you’re paying $1,000 a year for car insurance, a conviction for stunt driving could increase your rates to $1,250 a year.
In some cases, your insurance company may even refuse to renew your policy. So, if you’re convicted of stunt driving, you could find yourself without any car insurance at all. That’s why it’s so important to drive safely and obey the speed limit.