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Stronger stunt, aggressive driving penalties starting to come into effect across Ontario

Click to play video: 'Stiffer penalties now in place with new Ontario stunt driving legislation' Stiffer penalties now in place with new Ontario stunt driving legislation
WATCH ABOVE: In an effort to crack down on stunt driving and street racing, new rules across Ontario are now in effect. Under the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act, it also calls for stricter licence suspensions and increased vehicle impoundment periods. Frazer Snowdon reports. – Jul 1, 2021

New penalties for stunt and aggressive driving announced by the Ontario government in April have now taken effect across the province.

Under previous parts of the Highway Traffic Act, the threshold for stunt driving was going 50 km/h or more above the posted speed limit. However, with changes under the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act, the criteria for stunt driving drops to 40 km/h or higher if the driver is operating the vehicle on a road that has a speed limit less than 80 km/h. Stunt driving on roads with a posted limit of 80 km/h or higher will still be when someone is going 50 km/h or higher above the limit.

Another change in the law involves impounding vehicles that are stopped at the roadside. As of July 1, the vehicle will be immediately impounded for two weeks — up by a week.

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Toronto Police Det. Const. Scott Matthews tweeted Thursday afternoon that officers laid the first charge earlier in the day under the new legislation. It’s alleged the 24-year-old driver was travelling 145 km/h in a 90 km/h zone.

Read more: Ontario government introducing harsher penalties for speeding, stunt driving

“His car has been impounded for 14 days. It will cost him over $900 to get it back plus another $281 for his licence to be reinstated,” Matthews said.

The government also passed other changes to provincial laws that will come into effect at a later date.

Once proclaimed by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, drivers, if convicted, will face a 30-day licence suspension.

The legislation also calls for a new offence dealing with racing and stunts, and once proclaimed the minimum fine if convicted will be $2,000 and up to $10,000 as well as potentially facing escalating licence suspensions if convicted multiple times (a third or subsequent conviction would result in an indefinite ban).

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