Police Target Street Racing in Wake of Speed-Related Deaths - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Police Target Street Racing in Wake of Speed-Related Deaths


Law enforcement personnel from across Ontario are coming together to make roadways throughout the province safer this summer by combining their resources to eliminate street racing by stepping up enforcement of the law prohibiting it. Before the campaign began, Ontario Provincial Police had already stepped up enforcement efforts in the wake of 21 speed-related deaths in the province so far this year.

What is street racing?

Ontario defines street racing as being dangerous driving in which a vehicle travels at a high rate of speed in competition with another vehicle without regard to the safety of the public. Street racing is also referred to as a “contest” or as “stunt driving.” Common behaviours police look for as proof of street racing include:

  • Outdistancing or attempting to outdistance one or more other vehicles.
  • Driving in a manner designed to prevent another vehicle from passing.
  • Using excessive speed in an effort to beat another vehicle to a forward point.

Observations by a police officer used in court to prove a person was engaged in street racing include the following:

  • Changing lanes abruptly
  • Blocking another vehicle from changing lanes or passing
  • Tailgating
  • Changing lanes in an unsafe or dangerous manner
  • Engaging in high-risk behaviours
  • Manoeuvring to get position over another vehicle

Street racing may occur without any prearrangement by the participants. For instance, two drivers stopped at a traffic signal may suddenly decide to race each other. Races can also be the result of an organized effort to bring drivers and their vehicles together at a prearranged location to engage in a street race.

Someone could be charged with street racing or stunt driving without actually being engaged in a race or performing manoeuvres usually associated with performing stunts. This can happen because the law states that exceeding the speed limit by more than 50 kph can be charged as street racing or stunt driving.

Penalties and consequences of street racing

A police officer observing a driver engaging in a street race may take away the person’s driver’s licence. This suspension of driving privileges is for seven days and is prior to the driver appearing in court to answer to the actual offence.

Police may also impound any vehicle suspected of engaging in street racing. The vehicle can be impounded even if the driver is not the owner. The vehicle must remain impounded for at least seven days.

Penalties associated with a conviction for street racing include a minimum fine of $2,000 with a maximum fine of $10,000. You could also be imprisoned for up to six months following a conviction. Courts can impose both a fine and imprisonment. A conviction also adds six demerit points to a person’s driving record.

Conviction of street racing for the first time also includes a suspension of your driver’s licence for up to two years. The suspension can be for as long as 10 years for any subsequent conviction of the same offence.

If someone is killed or injured because of street racing, the driver can be charged with other criminal offenses, including causing a death by criminal negligence, causing bodily harm by criminal negligence or dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. The victim or the family of a deceased victim would have a claim for compensation against the driver causing the injuries or death.

Personal injury lawyers in Ontario

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for  compensation on behalf of victims injured due to the negligence of other parties. If you or a loved have been injured in a street racing accident, call our 24/7 personal injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to one of our team members. We have offices throughout Ontario to offer free consultations and case evaluations.

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