Contributor

(Amri Murray)

Harsher Penalties: Traffic Offences and COVID-19

There is no doubt that traffic offences have been on the increase since COVID-19. Although the open road with less traffic may seem tempting, resist the urge to rev up that engine!

This month, with a new legislation (Moving Ontarians More Safely (MOMS) Act), receiving royal assent, we can expect to see some harsher penalties for traffic offences.

Stunt Driving is one of those offences attracting harsher penalties. At a glance, you may think it is impossible for you to ever be charged with stunt driving because after all, you do not perform stunts on the road while driving. However, take note that you could be charged with this offence if, for example, you were driving your vehicle at a rate of speed that is 50 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit. No stunts in the normal way that we all perceive stunts would need to occur.

As of Canada Day, July 1, 2021, Ontarians can be charged with this offence if driving at a rate of speed that is 40 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit if the speed limit is less than 80 kilometres per hour and further if you are driving at a rate of speed that is 50 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit if the speed limit is 80 kilometres per hour or more.

The penalties for stunt driving, once the amendments to the Highway Traffic Act comes into force, will include a 30-day mandatory license suspension instead of the typical 7 days. Should you decide to risk it while under suspension and run a quick errand, you could be charged with a much more serious offence (Driving While Under Suspension) which carries fines, an additional 6-month suspension and potential jail time.

It is noteworthy too that, gone will be the days when someone could be convicted with this offence and walk away with no license suspension. The amendments when in force provides for a mandatory minimum suspension for a first offence of one to three years.

Now, along with all these changes is that you will also have impound fees for not 7 days but 14 days. Your vehicle would be towed and impounded for 14 days.

If you are charged with stunt driving, it is best to seek legal assistance.

We are paying close attention to the current laws and will help you with your traffic tickets/summons in Ottawa and the Greater Toronto Area.