CAA_SCO_WIN21

CAA_SCO_Win21

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38 | CAA MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY DENNIS HALLINAN/ALAMY insider: advocacy S INCE THE OUTSET of the pandemic, Ontario has seen a spike in speeding and street racing. That's why the province is unveiling stiffer penalties for those and other high-risk motoring offences known as stunt driving. Drivers who are caught could now see their licence immediately suspended for 30 days and their vehicle impounded for 14 days, which are both up from seven days under previous legislation. Drivers also face fines of up to $10,000 and, if they're convicted in court, longer licence suspensions. Repeat offenders could even be handed a lifetime driving ban. Drivers can also face stunt-driving charges for doing doughnuts, dangerously weaving through traffic and cuing off other motorists. In the most severe cases, these offences can lead to jail time. The new penalties are part of the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act. The law steps up penalties for speeding on municipal roads. Drivers clocked doing 40 km/h above the speed limit on streets where the limit is less than 80 km/h can now face a stunt- driving charge. Speeding is one of the leading causes of collisions in Ontario. The risk of dying or being seriously injured in one is 11 times higher when speeds exceed 150 km/h on a highway. Over the last 18 months, there has been a steady rise in dangerous driving on Ontario's roads. A CAA study from the spring found that 95 percent of drivers had recently witnessed speeding, distracted driving, aggressive lane changes and other unsafe behaviours. While the penalties for stunt driving are severe, road-safety experts say drivers also bear a moral duty to obey laws. "We all have a responsibility when it comes to road safety," says Raymond Chan, manager of government relations with CAA South Central Ontario. "You are siing behind a one- or two-tonne vehicle that can have a lot of force if you're driving aggressively or speeding or weaving in and out of traffic. That vehicle can turn into a deadly weapon." THE HIGH PRICE OF SPEEDING Ontario unveils new penalties for stunt driving Read on CAA has recently launched an awareness campaign to counter excessive speeding and stunt driving with this message: Think you need to speed? Think twice. Visit caasco.com/ThinkTwice to learn more.

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