Aggressive driving

Aggressive and high-risk driving have no place on the road. This includes:

  • speeding
  • tailgating or following too closely
  • cutting off other drivers, or cutting in front and then slowing down
  • refusing to yield the right of way
  • honking repeatedly, or for no reason
  • running red lights
  • excessive lane changes or weaving through traffic
  • passing too close to cyclists
  • stopping on a pedestrian crosswalk at an intersection

Stunt driving and street racing

Stunt driving and street racing are dangerous and illegal.

Stunt driving includes:

  • driving 40 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit on roads with a speed limit less than 80 kilometres per hour
  • driving 50 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit
  • driving in a way that prevents other vehicles from passing
  • intentionally cutting off another vehicle
  • intentionally driving too close to another vehicle, pedestrian or fixed object

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.

Street racing includes:

  • two or more motor vehicles driving in a way that indicates the drivers are competing
  • chasing another motor vehicle
  • changing lanes repeatedly at a high rate of speed and weaving through traffic

You can find a full list of aggressive and high-risk behaviours that are considered stunt driving or street racing in the O. Reg. 455/07 of the Highway Traffic Act (HTA).

Risks of speeding

The faster you drive, the higher your risk of losing control and being involved in a crash, which can be fatal or cause serious injury.

The risk of fatality or serious injury is 11 times higher in collisions at 50 kilometres per hour or more over a speed limit of 100 kilometres per hour, than when vehicles are involved in a collision while driving at, or below, the posted limit (2013-2017 Ontario data).

The laws of physics behind speeding affect everyone the same way. Speeding increases braking and stopping distances. It also reduces your field of vision, which makes it harder to react quickly to changing road conditions.

Penalties

Dangerous driving behaviours are criminal offences under the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). Know the costs of speeding and aggressive driving – and the penalties you could face for it – before you get behind the wheel. The higher your speed, the bigger the risks and the higher the penalties.

Excessive speed

If you are convicted of speeding, you may receive demerit points in addition to fines.

  • 3 points for going over the speed limit by 16 to 29 kilometres per hour
  • 4 points for going over the speed limit by 30 to 49 kilometres per hour
  • 6 points for going over the speed limit by 50 kilometres per hour or more

The fine will depend on how fast you were travelling over the posted speed limit:

Fines for driving over the speed limit (as of June 2020)
How much over the speed limit Fine per kilometres per hour over the speed limit
less than 20 kilometres per hour $3.00
20 to less than 30 kilometres per hour $4.50
30 to less than 50 kilometres per hour $7.00
50 kilometres per hour or more $9.75

For example, if you drive 40 kilometres per hour over the speed limit, you will be fined $7, times 40, for a total of $280.

Aggressive driving

Aggressive or careless drivers who put themselves and others at risk can be charged with careless driving. If you are convicted of careless driving, you can face:

  • fines of up to $2,000
  • six demerit points
  • a maximum of six months in jail
  • a driver’s licence suspension of up to two years

If you are convicted of careless driving causing bodily harm or death you can face:

  • fines from $2,000 to $50,000
  • six demerit points
  • a maximum of two years in jail
  • courts can impose a driver’s licence suspension of up to five years

Stunt driving or street racing

Drivers who are involved in stunt driving or street racing are subject to:

  • an immediate 30-day driver’s licence suspension
  • an immediate 14-day vehicle impoundment at roadside (whether it is your vehicle or not)
  • a minimum fine of $2,000 and a maximum fine of $10,000
  • a jail term of up to six months
  • a post-conviction licence suspension of up to two years for the first conviction, and up to 10 years for a second conviction within 10 years
  • six demerit points

Other penalties

Drivers convicted of aggressive, careless or stunt driving will experience a substantial increase in their insurance rates or could become uninsurable.

Novice drivers will face at least a 30-day licence suspension and possible licence cancellation for any conviction for the following offences:

  • speeding 30 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit
  • following too closely
  • careless driving
  • fail to remain at the scene of a collision
  • stunt driving

Stay alert and drive safely

Before you leave on your trip

  • Don't drive when you feel tired, nervous, stressed or overly emotional, such as after an argument or hearing bad news.
  • Avoid being rushed by leaving earlier.
  • Check traffic and road conditions before you leave.

When you’re driving

  • Be patient when traffic is delayed and minimize lane changes.
  • Allow other drivers to merge or change lanes.
  • Avoid distractions while driving.
  • Avoid emotional conversations with passengers.
  • If your device is safely attached to the vehicle, you can check traffic in real time on apps such as:
  • Maintain adequate following distance.
  • Use turn signals, it’s mandatory.
  • Use your high beam lights responsibly.
  • Tap your horn if you must (but no long blasts with accompanying hand gestures).
  • Be considerate in parking lots -- park in one spot, not across multiple spaces.
  • Do not use your cell phone or other electronic devices when you are driving. Learn more about distracted driving.

If you’re a passenger

  • If your driver is going too fast or is too reckless, ask them to slow down. If they don't listen, ask them to let you out in a safe place where you can call someone to pick you up.
  • Speaking up can help you and your friends stay alive.
18% of passengers killed in fatal crashes in 2017 were between the age of 16 and 24 years old. (2017 Ontario Road Safety Annual Report)
Updated: September 12, 2021
Published: March 16, 2021