Enhancing Ontario's Stunt Driving Law in Support of Raised Speed Limits
O Reg 455/07
Bill or Act:
Highway Traffic Act (HTA)
Summary of Proposal:
Beginning in mid-September, 2019, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is planning to pilot raised speed limits above the current maximums of 100km/h to 110 km/h, on the following sections of Ontario highways:
Highway 402 from London to Sarnia;
the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) from St. Catharines to Hamilton; and
Highway 417 from Ottawa/Gloucester to Ontario/Quebec border.
The fundamental goal of this initiative is ensure that people and goods move safely, efficiently and sustainably on the province's road network in order to support a globally competitive economy and a high quality of life.
By increasing speed limits beyond 100km/h (to 110km/h) the threshold for the application of Ontario's current street racing law - which currently applies to drivers who travel 50km/h over the posted limit - would increase on these roads accordingly to 160km/h. To accommodate raised speed limits while effectively deterring excessive speeding at pilot locations, the ministry is thus proposing to amend the current definition of "stunt" under Highway Traffic Act (HTA) Regulation 455/07 to include driving a motor vehicle at or above 150 kilometers per hour throughout the province.
As a result, any motorist caught driving 150 km/h anywhere in the province, including new sections of freeways with limits at 110km/h, would be subject to a charge of stunt driving.
Stunt Driving in Ontario:
On September 30, 2007, amendments to section 172 of the HTA regarding drivers who engage in street races, driving contests and driving stunts took effect. The supporting regulation (Ontario Regulation 455/07) to section 172 includes the definitions of key terms used in the legislation, including "street race", "driving contest" and "driving stunt".
These definitions include a number of high-risk driving behaviours such as:
driving 50 km/h or more above the posted speed limit;
driving a motor vehicle in a manner that indicates an intention to prevent another vehicle from passing;
intentionally cutting off another vehicle;
intentionally driving too close to another vehicle, pedestrian or fixed object.
The proposed changes to Regulation 455/07 to cap stunt driving at 150km/h align with the existing definition of a "stunt" and align with the intent of the original stunt driving legislation.
The ministry is confident that the proposed changes to the province's stunt driving law will help to deter excessive speeding and ensure that pilot zones are kept safe.
We invite your comments and look forward to hearing your feedback.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
No new administrative cost for business.
May 16, 2019
Comments Due Date:
May 26, 2019
Ministry of Transportation
Road Safety Policy Office
Safety Policy and Education Branch
87 Sir William Hearst Avenue
Building "A", Room 212