Drivers in Ontario will now be slapped with stunt driving charges at lower speeds

Police are captured looking for speeders in this undated file photo. (CTV News)

Ontario has made changes to how fast a driver can go over the speed limit on some roads before it will be considered stunt driving. 

The changes, which were made under the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act, came into effect on July 1. 

As of Thursday, anyone caught driving 40 km/h or more above the speed limit where the maximum is less than 80 km/h will face stunt driving charges. 

Before July 1, drivers would have to be busted going more than 50 km/h for it to be considered stunt driving on those roads. 

The rules for roads or highways where the speed limit is 80 km/h or higher remains the same. 

Drivers caught stunt driving will now also face a tougher penalty.

Motorists will face a 30-day roadside driver's licence suspension as well as a 14-day vehicle impoundment. The previous penalty was one week.

The Ontario government is also introducing an escalating post-conviction driver's licence suspensions for drivers convicted of stunt driving. 

  • For a first offence, a minimum of one to three years
  • For a second offence, a minimum of three to 10 years
  • For a third offence, a lifetime suspension that may be reduced at a later date to be established by regulation, and
  • For fourth and subsequent offences, a lifetime driver’s licence suspension.

Toronto Mayor John Tory said in a statement Thursday that he supports the changes to stunt driving laws.

"High-risk driving and stunt racing is an epidemic and is at odds with the city's Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, and we must do even more to create safer streets," Tory said. 

Between January 2021 to the end of May, Toronto saw a 90 per cent increase in racing and stunt driving charges compared to the same time in 2019.

The city says that police issued 276 racing and/or stunt driving tickets during that time, which is nearly 130 more tickets than they gave out during those months in 2019.