Ontario is cracking down on high-risk driving.
Last Thursday (July 1), the Moving Ontarian More Safely Act also known as the MOMS Act went into effect, introducing stiffer penalties for stunt driving, speeding, racing, and all forms of aggressive driving.
“It is our goal that through enforcement and public education initiatives that focus on speeding and aggressive driving, we can greatly reduce the number of serious collision,” said Dufferin OPP Const. Terri-Ann Pencarinha. “Over and above our efforts, the onus is on aggressive drivers themselves to change their behaviour and do their part to keep everyone safe on our roads.”
Under the new legislation, drivers will face stricter punishments including longer license suspensions (30 days up from the previous 7), and a vehicle impoundment period of 14 days.
Also part of the legislation, is the lowering of the speed threshold for street racing offenders on municipal roads. On roads with a posted speed limits of less than 80 km/hr, drivers caught traveling 40 km/hr over the speed limit will face racing/stunt driving charges. The previous limit was 50 km/hr over the speed limit.
“We expect that the harsher consequences will help change some aggressive driving behaviours. The OPP supports any legislation that helps make our roads safer,” said Const. Pencarinha. “Suspending a motorist’s driver’s licence and immediately impounding their vehicle for what will be a period of 14 days sends a strong message that Ontario has zero tolerance for racers and stunt drivers.”
According to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), over the last three years (2018-2020), speed has been the top contributing factor among the Big Four factors in road fatalities. Speed surpasses deaths linked to impaired driving, inattentive driving and lack of occupant restraint.
The OPP also says that speed-related fatalities are up about 30 per cent this year.
As of June 21, 33 people have died in speed-related collision in Ontario compared to just 25 deaths that occurred during all of last year.
At the time of print, there is no available data specific to stunt driving in Dufferin County with the amalgamation of Orangeville and Shelburne into the OPP.
Const. Pencarinha said it will take a full year to collect this type of data specific to the region.
Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press