Stunt Driving and Racing
Stunt Driving and Racing are very serious offenses and can have very serious consequences if you are convicted. Unlike Dangerous Driving or Impaired Driving which are criminal offences, stunt driving is an offence under section 172 of the Highway Traffic Act. However, even as a traffic offence, Stunt Driving and Racing carry some significant penalties, including a minimum $2,000 fine. The substantial fines and potential for a driver’s licence suspension means that it is essential you retain legal representation to assist you resolve the charge against you.
What is Stunt Driving and Racing?
Section 172 of the Highway Traffic Act simply prohibits Stunt Driving and Racing. The definitions for Stunt Driving and Racing can be found under the Highway Traffic Act Regulations, specifically Ontario Regulation 455/07.
Stunt Driving can include any of the following acts;
- Driving a motor vehicle 50km/h over the posted speed limit.
- Driving a vehicle with an intention to lift some or all of the tires from the surface of the road. (For those driving a motorcycle, lifting either your front or back tire off the surface of the road is considered stunt driving.)
- Driving a motor vehicle with the intention to cause one or more of the tires to lose traction with the surface of the road. (This could include squealing your tires from a stopped position.)
- Driving a vehicle with the intention of preventing another vehicle from passing you. (For example, a vehicle pulls into another lane to pass you and you speed up to prevent the vehicle from passing you.)
- Driving a vehicle with the intention to spin the vehicle without maintaining control of it.
- Driving a motor vehicle while there is a person in the trunk.
- Driving a vehicle while not sitting in the driver’s seat. (This would include a passenger momentarily taking control of the steering wheel for the driver.)
These are just some of the examples of Stunt Driving as defined by the Regulations under the Highway Traffic Act. For a complete definition of Stunt Driving, following the link.
Racing is defined as;
- Driving two or more motor vehicles at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed and in a manner that indicates the drivers of the motor vehicles are engaged in a competition.
- Driving a motor vehicle in a manner that indicates an intention to chase another motor vehicle.
- Driving a motor vehicle without due care and attention, without reasonable consideration for other persons using the highway or in a manner that may endanger any person by,
- driving a motor vehicle at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed,
- outdistancing or attempting to outdistance one or more other motor vehicles while driving at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed, or
- repeatedly changing lanes in close proximity to other vehicles so as to advance through the ordinary flow of traffic while driving at a rate of speed that is a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed.
Penalties for Stunt Driving and Racing
Simply being charged with Stunt Driving or Racing has significant consequences. If you are charged, you will be required to surrender your driver’s licence and it will be suspended automatically for 7 days. Your motor vehicle will also be towed and impounded for a period of 7 days. You will also have to pay the fee for having your vehicle impounded for 7 days.
Upon conviction for Stunt Driving or Racing, you are subject to a minimum fine of $2,000 and it could be as high as $10,000. You are also subject to a jail sentence of up to 6 months. Your driver’s licence may also be suspended for up to 2 years for a first conviction, and up to 10 years for any subsequent conviction occurring within 10 years of your first conviction.
Additional Consequences if Convicted of Stunt Driving or Racing
In addition to the penalties listed under the Highway Traffic Act, a conviction will also result in a significant increase in insurance costs. If your licence is suspended you will also have to deal with not being able to drive for a period of time. A driver’s licence suspension can have a significant impact on your personal life, as well as your employment. In addition, you will also have to pay a $150 administrative fee to have your driver’s licence reinstated.
Defending Charges of Stunt Driving and Racing
What defences may be available to you on charges of Stunt Driving or Racing will depend upon the facts of your case. For example, if you are charged with driving 50km/h or more over the speed limit, the fact that you did not realize you were going that fast or that you did not intend to drive that fast is not a defence. In these circumstances, a defence that may be available to you is the accuracy and reliability of the radar equipment.
For other forms of Stunt Driving, such as losing traction, causing the vehicle to spin, or causing one or more tires to be lifted from the surface of the road, your intention at the time you committed this act could provide you with a defence. In these cases, the surrounding circumstances (weather conditions, road conditions, location or road you were driving on) could have a significant impact on whether a defence is available to you.
A knowledgeable and experienced lawyer will be in the best position to advise you of any defences available to you and defend you against your charges.
Stunt Driving and Racing are serious charges and a conviction will have significant financial and personal consequences. Make sure your rights and interests are represented. Contact me today if you have been charged with Stunt Driving or Racing. Arrange a free consultation now.