Administrative Monetary Penalties for High Risk Driving Suspensions
Bill or Act:
Highway Traffic Act
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry of Transportation takes the safety of our roads, and Ontario's families, seriously. For 20 years in a row, Ontario has been ranked within the top five North American jurisdictions with the lowest number of road fatalities per 10,000 licensed drivers. There is still plenty of room for improvement. On average, one person is killed on our roads every 14 hours. Many collisions are avoidable.
High risk driving behaviour, like driving while suspended or street racing, puts lives at risk. It is a serious trend that we are continually working to address. That is why the ministry is proposing that drivers who have their licences suspended for certain high-risk driving behaviours should pay administrative monetary penalties.
An administrative monetary penalty is a tool to encourage people to follow the law. Administrative monetary penalties for offences provide swift and certain consequences, which evidence suggests are more effective at achieving deterrence. In the current proposal, penalties are triggered by licence suspensions for breaking certain rules of the road. Under this proposal, drivers who have their licences suspended for high-risk driving behaviours would have to pay escalating administrative monetary penalties before they can drive again. This would be in addition to existing penalties which may include fines, licence suspensions, or demerit points.
Drivers who receive suspensions for breaking these identified laws will be required to pay escalating penalties of $250, $350, and $450 for first, second, and third or subsequent suspensions within a five-year period. This will apply to drivers who are suspended for the following reasons:
1. Driving while suspended (Highway Traffic Act s.53)
2. Demerit point accumulation (Ontario Regulation 339/94: Demerit Point System s.9)
3. Careless driving and careless driving causing bodily harm or death (Highway Traffic Act s.130, s.130(1), s.130(3))
4. Failing to stop when signaled or asked by an officer (Highway Traffic Act s.216)
5. Failing to remain at the scene of an accident (Highway Traffic Act s.200)
6. Street racing/ exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/h or more (Highway Traffic Act s. 172 (6) and s.128(1) as per s.128(15))
Today, Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Quebec apply similar monetary penalties to drivers who have their licences suspended for impaired driving. In Ontario, for example, a driver who is suspended for driving with a blood alcohol concentration in the warn range between 50 mg/100ml but less than 80 mg/100ml face licence suspension and escalating administrative monetary penalties of $250, $250, and $450 for first, second, and third or subsequent suspensions.
The intended outcome of this proposal is to reduce high-risk driving behaviours. Through adding to existing penalties, we hope to deter drivers from threatening the safety of others through their actions. This is intended to improve the quality of life for Ontarians by reducing the number of collisions occurring on roads.
We invite you to review the details of these proposals and share comments for ministry consideration.
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
To examine potential effects on the economy the ministry conducted a regulatory impact analysis. The results of this analysis indicate that this proposal will not affect the economy of Ontario, businesses, or not-for-profit organizations.
September 17, 2021
Comments Due Date:
October 16, 2021
Ministry of Transportation
Road Safety Program Development Office
Safety Program Development Branch
87 Sir William Hearst Avenue
Building "A," Room 212