Street Racing Ontario: Law, Fines & Everything You Need to Know About the Charge in 2024

Street racing has become an increasingly pressing issue in Ontario, posing significant risks to participants and public safety. The introduction of the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act (MOMS Act) in July 2021 has strengthened the Ontario street racing law, aiming to reduce these dangerous incidents.

Whether you’re a driver or a concerned citizen, understanding what a street racing charge in Ontario entails is crucial. That’s why X-COPS is here to provide you with a comprehensive overview of the street racing Ontario laws, the stiff penalties associated with breaking them, and what to do if charged.


What is Street Racing in Ontario?

In Ontario, street racing is defined under the Highway Traffic Act as any form of “race” or “contest” between drivers. Specifically, it involves one or more individuals engaging in driving where at least two vehicles are operated at speeds much higher than the legal limit in a way that clearly shows they are in competition with one another. This definition captures both organized races and spontaneous contests that may occur on public roads.

The regulation of street racing falls under the larger umbrella of stunt driving charge in Ontario as defined by Section 172 of the Highway Traffic Act.

What is Considered Street Racing in Ontario?

In Ontario, street racing tickets encompass various activities considered dangerous and covered under the stunt driving provisions of the Highway Traffic Act. Here is a list of activities that can lead to a street racing charge in Ontario:

  • Competitive speeding (speed racing): Engaging in driving where two or more motor vehicles are travelling at speeds that greatly exceed the lawful limit, suggesting a competitive nature among the drivers.
  • Vehicle chasing: Operating a motor vehicle in a manner that shows an intent to chase another motor vehicle, often at high speeds.
  • Excessive speeding: Driving at a rate that is a marked departure from the lawful speed limit, potentially endangering people or property.
  • Outdistancing other vehicles: Trying to significantly surpass one or more vehicles by travelling at a speed that is much higher than normal traffic flow.
  • Aggressive lane changes: Repeatedly switching lanes close to other vehicles at high speeds to move ahead through the normal traffic flow.

These activities are subject to strict penalties under Ontario’s stunt driving laws.


Ontario Street Racing Speed Limit

In Ontario, there isn’t a specific speed limit designated for street racing because engaging in street racing itself is illegal and constitutes a serious offence under the Highway Traffic Act. The HTA prohibits driving at speeds that are a marked departure from the lawful rate of speed, which includes any speed that endangers public safety.

However, the speed limits specified under stunt driving regulations provide context for understanding the severity of high-speed driving offences.

Under stunt driving regulations in Ontario:

  • Driving 40 km/h over speed limit on roads with a speed limit of less than 80 km/h or driving 50 km/h or more over the speed limit on roads with a speed limit of 80 km/h or more constitutes stunt driving.
  • Additionally, drivers caught driving 150 km/h or more are subject to stunt driving charges, regardless of the posted speed limit.

Penalties for Street Racing Charge in Ontario

In Ontario, the penalties for those found guilty of stunt driving or speed racing are severe and have been structured to act as a strong deterrent against such dangerous driving behaviours. So, if you were to get caught racing you would receive:

  • 6 demerit points
  • Immediate 30-day licence suspension (effective from the moment of the charge)
  • Immediate motor vehicle impoundment for 14 days. This applies regardless of whether the driver owns the vehicle
  • Fines from $2,000 and up to $10,000 (+25% victim surcharge), allowing the court to scale the fine based on the specifics of the incident
  • Imprisonment of up to six months
  • Post-conviction licence suspension:
    • for a first conviction: 1 to 3 years licence suspension;
    • for a second conviction: 3 to 10 years licence suspension;
    • for a third conviction: lifetime suspension, which may be reducible after 10 years based on specific criteria;
    • for a fourth or subsequent conviction: a non-reducible lifetime licence suspension
  • Mandatory driver improvement course
  • Increased insurance rates
street racing fines ontario & penalties

How Long Does Street Racing Stay on Your Record in Ontario?

  • Street racing demerit points remain on your record for two years from the date of the offence.
  • A conviction for speed racing in Ontario will come off your driving record after 3 years, but police and government can see it forever.
  • Impact on insurance: street racing convictions can impact insurance premiums for around three years. During this time, insurance companies may consider you a high-risk driver, resulting in higher premiums or even denial of coverage. However, the exact duration of the impact can vary depending on the insurance company’s policies and individual circumstances.

Is Street Racing a Criminal Offence in Ontario?

Street racing is not explicitly classified as a criminal offence in Ontario. Instead, it is typically addressed under provincial traffic laws, particularly the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). However, certain actions associated with street racing, such as dangerous driving Ontario or careless driving causing death or bodily harm as a result of racing, can lead to criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada. 

These charges are more serious and can result in criminal penalties, including imprisonment. Therefore, while street racing may not be considered a criminal offence, the consequences of engaging in such behaviour can have criminal implications.


The consequences of a street racing ticket in Ontario can be severe and potentially life-changing. Given the stringent penalties under the Highway Traffic Act, including heavy street racing Ontario fines, licence suspensions, and possible jail time, it is crucial to have legal representation.

Here’s why resorting to the help of a knowledgeable traffic ticket lawyer from X-COPS is essential:

  • Expertise in traffic law: Our lawyers understand the intricate laws surrounding street racing and stunt driving and can navigate the legal system efficiently.
  • Negotiating plea deals: We may negotiate with prosecutors to potentially reduce your charges or penalties.
  • Challenging evidence: Our team can question the accuracy of the evidence against you, from speed measurements to the legality of the stop.
  • Court representation: If your case goes to trial, having experienced representation is invaluable for advocating on your behalf.
  • Minimizing long-term impacts: We aim to protect your driving record and reduce insurance rates and employment impacts.

At X-COPS, we provide dedicated support and expert legal counsel to ensure your rights are protected. If you’re charged with stunt racing in Ontario, contact us immediately for effective legal assistance.

FAQ

Here we've prepared a short list of frequently asked questions in order to provide quick answers to anyone who's looking for information associated with the topic. If you need more clarification, please don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

👉What is a racing charge in Ontario?

In Ontario, a racing charge typically refers to an offence under the Highway Traffic Act where two or more vehicles exceed the legal speed limit in a manner that suggests a competition or race. This can also include aggressive driving behaviours like excessive speeding, vehicle chasing, and dangerous manoeuvres such as aggressive lane changes. These actions fall under the broader category of stunt driving, which carries severe penalties, including fines, licence suspensions, vehicle impoundment and potential jail time.

👉How many demerit points for racing in Ontario?

You may can 6 demerit points for racing in Ontario.

👉What is the penalty for street racing in Ontario?

Here's a list of penalties for street racing in Ontario:
- 6 demerit points
- Immediate 30-day licence suspension
- Vehicle impoundment for 14 days
-Fines ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 (+25% victim surcharge)
- Potential imprisonment for up to 6 months
- Long-term licence suspensions: 1 to 3 years for a first conviction; 3 to 10 years for a second conviction; Lifetime suspension for a third conviction (reducible after 10 years); Lifetime suspension for fourth or subsequent convictions (non-reducible)
- Mandatory driver improvement course
- Increased insurance rates

👉Is stunt driving the same as street racing in Ontario?

In Ontario, street racing is considered a form of stunt driving. While stunt driving covers a broader range of dangerous driving behaviours, such as excessive speeding and aggressive manoeuvres, street racing involves explicitly two or more vehicles engaging in a race or speed contest on public roads. Both offences fall under the stunt driving provisions of the Highway Traffic Act and carry serious penalties.

👉What type of offence is street racing?

Street racing is a provincial traffic offence in Ontario, regulated under the Highway Traffic Act.

👉What speed is considered street racing in Ontario?

In Ontario, street racing can be considered under the stunt driving regulations if you are driving 40 km/h or more over the speed limit on roads with a speed limit less than 80 km/h, or 50 km/h or more over on roads with a speed limit of 80 km/h or more. Additionally, driving at 150 km/h or more, regardless of the posted speed limit, is also likely to be classified as stunt driving, which includes street racing.

👉Can I go to jail for street racing in Ontario?

Yes, you can go to jail for street racing in Ontario. If found guilty, the penalties can include imprisonment for up to six months, among other severe consequences such as fines, licence suspensions, and vehicle impoundment.

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