In Ontario speed has been the major factor in provincial road deaths in the last three years. The statistics also show that the pandemic is not slowing road deaths. As reported by Zoe Demarco in The Hive, “as of June 21, 33 people have died in speed-related collisions in 2021 . At this time last year, there were 25 such fatalities.”
Take a look at Highway 416 from Ottawa which connects with the major highway to Toronto. On July 1st, new signage went up warning of massive fines if you travelled 40 kilometers per hour over the speed limit.
I was on Highway 416 on the July long weekend. Being resilient Ontario vehicle drivers ,most motorists were traveling consistently on this highway at 30 kilometers per hour over the posted speed limit of 100 kilometers per hour.
It turns out that as of July 1st Ontario has introduced a new “stunt driving” law under the “Moving Ontarians More Safely Act (MOMS) which means unsafe drivers can lose their licence for a month and have their car impounded for two weeks. Upon conviction for “street racing or stunt driving” or being clocked over 40 km/h on streets posted for 80 km/h or over 150 km/h on 110 km/h highways mean drivers face further fines of $2,000 to $10,000 and/or a six month jail term.
As the Ontario Government’s website states “Drivers caught driving 150 kilometres per hour or more are subject to stunt driving charges. This applies anywhere in the province, including sections of freeways with limits of 110 kilometres per hour.”
There’s progressive penalties. A second conviction includes a driver’s suspension for three to ten years, and a third conviction can include turning in a driver’s licence forever.
Previously drivers travelling 50 km/h or more over the speed limit could be charged for stunt driving: the MOMS regulation lowers that increase of speed to 40 km/h. And in areas that have posted speed limit of 80 km/h, speeds of 120 km/h or more can receive the same charges.”
Compare those penalties to British Columbia, where exceeding speed limits by 40 km/h results in a fine of $368 and three penalty points. Vehicles can be impounded for seven days for the first offence, 30 days for the second if it is within two years and 60 days for the third offence in two years. And if you are driving in B.C. at more than 60 km/h over the speed limit the fine is $483.
Josh Pringle of CTV News reports on the teenager that was caught driving 153 km/h on Ottawa’s portion of Highway 416 which is posted for 100 km/h. He was one of twelve caught on city highways during the July weekend under the new restrictions.
It appears to be human nature to drive faster than the speed limit, or just below the level that will net serious fines under the new MOMS regulation. In Toronto, there was a 90 percent increase in racing and stunt driving charges in 2020 as compared to 2019, “at odds” with Toronto’s s Vision Zero Road Safety Plan .
The MOMS act also will allow Ontario to collect data on “dooring” of bicyclists and e-scooters, and also redefines e-bikes. Under this new legislation e-bikes will be classified as “bicycle” style, mopeds, and motorcycle style, to allow for better data collection and monitoring.
Will the new increased penalties decrease vehicular crashes in Ontario? Data will tell next year.
Here’s a YouTube video by Ontario family guy Mike Dancy talking about the new regulation, and advising Ontario drivers “Don’t Be An Idiot”.