Stunt Driving

Stunt Driving Toronto

Getting a stunt driving charge in Toronto is quite a serious offence in Canada. It’s not a criminal offence, though.

It is an offence against traffic laws covered in section 172(1) of the Highway Traffic Act in Ontario.

What happens when you charged with stunt driving in Ontario? If you get a stunt driving ticket, you’ll be subjected to an immediate 30-days roadside license suspension, 14 days vehicle seizure, and upon conviction, a maximum fine could be up to $10,000 (+ 25% victim surcharge); also you’ll get 6 demerit points, possible jail time and licence suspension from 1 to 3 years. Moreover, since April 2022, you must complete driver improvement course.

If it’s not your first stunt driving offence, the consequences will be way too harsher.

Stunt driving is not only performing a stunt, there is much more of what qualifies as stunt driving in Ontario. In short, it is a departure from the normal operation of a motor vehicle on the highway.

Basically, anyone who exceeds the speed limit by more than 50km/h over the posted speed limit can get a stunt driving traffic ticket (according to the stunt driving Ontario new laws that came into force in 2021).

So, once you’ve got a summon to court for stunting, you must know all the details.

Let’s take a look at them more closely!

What is a Stunt Driving Charge in Toronto | Definition

Section 172 (1) of the Highway Traffic Act states that no one is allowed to drive a motor vehicle on a highway in a manner of contest or race while making stunts or on a bet.

What is considered stunt driving:

Any of the following driving acts can constitute a stunt – which is essentially a departure from normal operation of a motor vehicle on the highway:

  • Speeding 40km/h or more over the posted speed limit if the limit is less than 80km/h;
  • Speeding 50km/h or more over the posted speed limit if the limit is 80km/h or more;
  • Driving a car at a rate of speed that is a marked departure of the speed limit. “marked departure from the lawful rate of speed” means a rate of speed that may limit the driver’s ability to adjust to changing circumstances on the highway prudently”.
  • Attempting to turn left at an intersection before the opposite direction traffic had an opportunity to pass first and safe;
  • Driving a motor vehicle at a rate of speed 150 km/h and more;
  • Driving with the driver’s sole intention to cause some or all tires to lose traction with the surface of the highway;
  • Driving 2 or more motor vehicles side by side or in proximity to each other, where one of the motor vehicles occupies a lane of traffic or other portion of the highway intended for use by oncoming traffic for a period of time that is longer than is reasonably required to pass another motor vehicle;
  • Racing by distancing yourself from other vehicle or vehicles with rapid acceleration; 
  • Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other vehicles on the highway, just as stated in Careless Driving Charge;
  • Pulling sleds, carrying persons in the cab of the pick-up truck or regular trunk; 
  • Passing one or more vehicles at the rate of speed exceeding the speed limit;
  • Driving a motor vehicle while sitting not in the driver’s seat;
  • Chasing another vehicle;
  • Trying to step out of the motor vehicle by letting go of the steering wheel or standing on the motor bicycle;
  • Any type of wheel burn out, doughnuts or popping a wheelie on the motorcycle

Is stunt driving a criminal offence in Ontario?

NO, stunt driving is not criminal offence. It falls under the purview of the Highway Traffic Act, section 172(1). But, penalties for performing a stunt are severe, including jail time and obligatory driver improvement courses.

Penalties for Toronto Stunt Driving

Acc. to the Highway Traffic Act stunt driving charges may include:

Penalties for stunt driving first offence in Toronto:

  • (6) six demerit points;
  • jail time up to 6 months;
  • immediate motor vehicle impoundment for 14 days;
  • minimum fine – $2,000 and up to $10,000 plus 25% victim surcharge for the first time;
  • mandatory licence suspension for 30 days (roadside suspension);
  • driver’s licence suspension upon conviction: from 1 to 3 years;
  • mandatory driver improvement course.

Penalties for stunt driving – second offence:

  • (6) six demerit points;
  • jail time up to 6 months;
  • immediate motor vehicle impoundment for 14 days;
  • minimum fine – $2,000 and up to $10,000 plus 25% victim surcharge;
  • immediate licence suspensions for 30 days;
  • driver’s licence suspension upon conviction: for up to 10 years;
  • mandatory driver improvement course.

Third and subsequent offences:

  • (6) six demerit points;
  • jail time up to 6 months;
  • immediate motor vehicle impoundment for 14 days;
  • minimum fine – $2,000 and up to $10,000 plus 25% victim surcharge;
  • immediate licence suspensions for 30 days;
  • lifetime driver’s licence suspension upon conviction;
  • mandatory driver improvement course.

*The driver improvement course must be completed within 60 days of conviction. Otherwise the driver’s license will be revoked.

Failing to pay your fine resulting from stunt driving will get your driver’s licence suspended automatically.

Having a record for performing a stunt on the highway will impede your ability to get insurance in the future prompting you to pay high-risk insurance companies that charge at least 300% more per month for at least 3 – 6 years! Insurance rates will be hugely inflated!

Stunt Driving – G2 drivers’ consequences

Novice and fully licensed drivers have the same penalties for Ontario stunt driving charges. But when it comes to a conviction of G2 licence holders, the consequences will be harsher. 

Upon conviction, a G2 class driver will get the additional 30-day license suspension from the time the license was surrendered. This is standard practice for novice drivers because the MTO (the Official Ministry Of Transportation) assigns it automatically to any G2 holder who accumulates more than four (4) demerit points. Stunt driving results in 6 demerit points, so this law is applicable here.

If you’re fighting your stunt driving ticket in court, you should also consider that G2 drivers are regarded by the prosecutors to be less experienced, and their clean driving record means only that they have been driving for not so long time. In addition, G2 licence holders are often younger, which can also affect the prosecutor’s case evaluation. 

In such situations, we always recommend having a stunt driving lawyer on your side to help your case.

New Stunt Driving Laws in Ontario – What Changed?

In July 2021 and April 2022, the Ontario government introduced new measures against stunt driving, street racing, unsafe and dangerous driving under the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act (known as the MOMS Act).

Stunt driving law changesCurrent statePrevious version
Speed limitThe drivers caught driving 40 km/h over the speed limit on the roads with a posted speed limit of less than 80 km/h will face stunt driving charges.The drivers caught driving 50 km/h over the speed limit on the roads with a posted speed limit of less than 80 km/h will face stunt driving charges.
Immediate vehicle impoundment14 days7 days
Roadside driver’s licence suspensionAnyone charged with stunt driving will face a 30-day roadside driver’s licence suspension.Anyone charged with stunt driving will face a 7-day roadside driver’s licence suspension.
Driver’s licence suspension (upon conviction)
  • first conviction: from 1 to 3 years;
  • second conviction: from 3 to 10 years;
  • third conviction: lifetime suspension (that may be reduced later);
  • fourth conviction: lifetime suspension.
  • first offence: for not more than 2 years;
  • subsequent convictions: for up to 10 years.
Driver improvement courseMandatory, within 60 days of convictionNo need to complete

Also, from 12 Sep 2021, section 172 of the Highway Traffic Act is applied to some off-road locations: parking lots, bike paths and trails. 

Parking lots include: 

  • any public or private parking lots, garage or structure;
  • any commercial, private or industrial parking lot or any other empty lot that public doesn’t have access to;
  • any parking lot with or without paid access, no matter whether payment is made by the driver or the driver entered it without permission. 

Please note, that section 172 of the Highway Traffic Act does not apply to race tracks, motor speedways and go-cart tracks (places that are designated for stunts and street racing).

What To Do If You’ve Been Charged With Stunt Driving In Toronto?

  • Immediately after getting an invitation to court for stunt driving stop using your vehicle under any circumstances.
  • Before going to court prepare proof that your driver’s licence has been reinstated (if possible). This will give you a chance to resolve your case to a speeding offence.
  • Try to recover your motor vehicle as soon as possible to avoid expensive towing and storage fees and possible charges for driving while under suspension.
  • Appear in court in person, or you may hire a professional stunt driving lawyer who can appear on your behalf and fight your traffic ticket.

*Bear in mind that insurance companies do not provide coverage to motorists who knowingly decide to drive a motor vehicle while under suspension. Reinstating your driver’s licence prior to getting behind the steering wheel is essential even if you had to drive for work the next day.

Important: if you have even one conviction for stunt driving, it won’t disappear from your driving record after 3 years. It’ll stay with you forever. Hence, in subsequent offences, it’ll lead to higher fines and more serious punishment.

At the same time, if you already have a record, it can seriously hinder your ability to apply for jobs in governmental institutions (where perfect driving history is a must) in the future.

How to Beat Stunt Driving Charge in Toronto?

There is no universal strategy how to fight stunt driving in Toronto. But anyway, if you’ve got this traffic ticket, there are 3 options for you:

  • Plead guilty and pay the ticket (not advisable).
  • Fight your ticket alone (read the detailed instruction below in the next section).
  • For your best defence get legal advice and hire a stunt driving lawyer Toronto or paralegal, who will prepare an effective strategy and all documents on your behalf.

Please note that an experienced lawyer knows how to negotiate in court to reduce the offence or get stunt driving charges dropped.

If you chose to fight your stunt driving charge alone, here is a brief guide:

  • In case if you don’t have legal representation, be ready to show to a prosecutor that your licence has already been reinstated for plea negotiations.
  • Prepare all necessary documents or letters with relevant information to your case. Usually, it takes between 1 to 3 court visits to complete the procedure.
  • You must appear in court on a specified date and ask for a trial. 
  • At trial date the police officer will attend and present their evidence to the court.
  • Before trial, prepare questions for the police officer and other witnesses, related to your charges for stunt driving. Questions must be asked in such a way so that you get answers, which prove that the situation was different than the police officer’s version.

When it comes to fighting the Toronto stunt driving charge make sure to make research about previously resolved cases. This can help to understand under what evidence and arguments the court makes a decision.

How to get stunt driving charges dropped in Ontario?

Well, our internal data show that it’s hard (almost impossible) to have your stunt driving charges dropped if you go to court alone. Because it’s not so easy for a regular person who represents himself in court to be persuasive enough with no experience in this sphere.

Sometimes it’s even difficult for a traffic lawyer to get the charges dropped completely. But chances increase significantly with a comprehensive, personalized defence strategy and evidence disclosure from the Crown.

Experienced Toronto stunt driving lawyers know how to collect and sort out all the information and represent it properly to the prosecutor and court. As an example, they can prove the lack of evidence – this is one of the most successful stunt driving defences, by the way.

So, it’s better to rely on a knowledgeable Toronto stunt driving lawyer or paralegal to reduce the offence or get your stunt driving charges dropped. They understand your rights and can exercise them through the defence process completely.

The whole process is quite stressful and requires a cold mind and good strategy. Any wrong (even small) step, in the beginning, can lead to conviction or can have a poorer outcome than it could be.

Thus, the best strategy, in this case, is to consult with a knowledgeable paralegal and get legal advice. 

X-COPS deals with Toronto stunt driving tickets almost every day, so we’re ready to provide you with professional legal representation and deliver the best possible result. Just make a call today!

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