Ontario Introduces Legislation to Take Action Against Stunt Driving and Street RacingPublished on April 26, 2021
Proposed legislation would also strengthen provincial oversight of the towing sector
TORONTO – The Ontario government is taking strong action to protect road users against unsafe and aggressive driving with the introduction of the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act, 2021, also known as the MOMS Act. The proposed legislation will introduce new measures to combat high-risk driving and improve road safety, including longer driver’s licence suspensions and longer vehicle impoundment periods for drivers who engage in stunt driving, street racing and aggressive driving.
The Ontario government introduced the MOMS Act in the legislature earlier today.
“Both as Minister of Transportation and a parent to driving-aged teens, I am extremely concerned by the rising numbers of young drivers in Ontario caught stunt driving, street racing and driving aggressively,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “By increasing driver’s licence suspensions and vehicle impoundment periods, the MOMS Act sends a clear message to drivers – driving is a privilege and those who threaten the safety of others have no place on our roads.”
If passed by the legislature, the MOMS Act would also introduce measures to protect vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and highway workers, improve truck safety and strengthen the province’s oversight of the towing sector by creating the Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act, 2021. This Act would require tow operators, tow truck drivers and vehicle storage operators to be certified, and set new standards for customer protection and roadside behaviours, including penalties for non-compliance.
“The MOMS Act targets the worst actors on our roads by creating escalating suspensions for repeat offenders and setting a lower speed threshold for stunt driving charges on municipal roads,” said Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA). “With this Act, we are taking concrete action to protect people and families on our roads.”
“Stunt driving and street racing are serious threats that have posed a greater risk to our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Solicitor General Sylvia Jones. “The increased penalties and sanctions proposed under the MOMS Act, along with the creation of the new Towing and Storage Safety and Enforcement Act, will ensure police services across the province have the tools they need to combat high-risk driving on Ontario’s roads.”
- The number of driver’s licence suspensions issued at roadside for street racing/stunt driving increased 130 per cent between 2013 and 2019.
- Roadside driver’s licence suspensions for street racing/stunt driving increased an additional 52 per cent between March and August 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. Nearly five per cent of drivers suspended during this period had one or more previous suspensions in the previous five years.
- Young drivers aged 16-25 represented only 19 per cent of drivers involved in collisions between March and June 2020 but 42 per cent of drivers involved in collisions with a police-recorded speed of 50 kilometres per hour (km/h) or more above the posted limit.
"We are pleased to see the release of the MOMS Act. By creating a series of escalating sanctions for aggressive driving behaviours, it will focus the most significant repercussions on those most deserving – those who would completely disregard the law, putting the lives and safety of other road users in jeopardy. It will also create a much-needed regulatory framework for the towing industry – something that has been needed for many years."
- Superintendent Scott Baptist
Unit Commander – Traffic Services, Toronto Police Service
"The Ontario Good Roads Association applauds the steps the Ontario government has taken to address road safety concerns and issues with the Moving Ontarians More Safely Act. This is an important first step toward realizing a future where Ontarians are no longer fatally injured or seriously hurt on our roadways."
- Scott Butler
Executive Director, Ontario Good Roads Association
"Engaging in stunt driving, racing and speeding is more than just breaking the law. It endangers lives and results in fatalities and injuries on our roads every year. The Moving Ontarians More Safely Act (MOMS) is an important step towards addressing the serious road safety issues created by aggressive drivers and unsafe towing practices."
- Commissioner Thomas Carrique
Ontario Provincial Police
"Towing is a vital service in Ontario. It ensures the safety of motorists and contributes to an efficient provincial transportation network. CAA has been working with the provincial government to recognize issues specific to the towing industry and to identify potential solutions. We applaud today’s announcement: by working together with the province of Ontario, CAA is optimistic that provincial legislation to govern the towing industry will address the most pressing issues related to safety and consumer confidence. A reliable and trustworthy towing industry is essential to Ontario. A tow truck licensing system that provides oversight, training and industry standards will establish confidence and keep Ontario’s roads safe. Over 2,000 consumers in the province have contacted their local MPP to voice their support for towing legislation through CAA’s moresafetows.ca website. Many reputable tow operators in this province already provide safe, honest and professional services. By elevating provincial standards and with regulatory oversight, Ontario further strengthens the profession and inspires greater consumer confidence in the towing industry."
- Teresa Di Felice
AVP Government and Community Relations, CAA South Central Ontario
"Insurance Bureau of Canada and its members have long advocated for much-needed reforms to establish oversight of the towing industry, and have been working with the government and other stakeholders as part of the technical advisory group. We congratulate the government for listening, and taking this bold action."
- Kim Donaldson
Vice-President, Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada
"The Provincial Towing Association of Ontario has been leading the towing industry through a provincial licencing model to elevate professionalism in towing. The legislation Premier Ford and Minister Mulroney are announcing today is the frame work required to implement a towing industry licencing system. This will provide consumers with the ability to work with qualified towers across Ontario and know they will be taken care of by trained operators. The PTAO supports this legislation and looks forward to working directly with the government for implementation."
- Mark Graves
President, Provincial Towing Association of Ontario
"Although sometimes considered as an inconvenience by drivers, construction zones are workplaces first. Our members have noticed increased incidents of stunt driving, speeding and distracted driving. Initiatives that crack down on stunt driving, that allow for the use of automated flagger devices are important tools that will make construction zones safer for workers and make our roadways safer for all Ontarians."
- Bryan Hocking
Chief Executive Officer, Ontario Road Builders’ Association
"Ontario’s roads are among the safest in North America in part because of the continuous progress and evolution of enforcement policies on Ontario’s highway network. Speed, or travelling too fast for the conditions, is one of the main causes of fatal collisions on the road. By addressing stunt driving, the Province of Ontario will send a clear message to the public that dangerous driving will not be tolerated. This legislation will also protect the safety of hard-working men and women who move Ontario’s freight. Highways are considered workplaces by our industry and are treated with the highest degree of respect by professional truck drivers, who take their safety responsibilities very seriously. Having other road users engaged in stunt driving endangers the physical safety of Ontario’s truck driving community and the motoring public they share the road with. OTA applauds the province for escalating enforcement action against this dangerous behaviour."
- Stephen Laskowski
President & CEO, Ontario Trucking Association
"As a GTA police service, we welcome these new provincial measures. Longer suspensions will certainly assist us, and our law enforcement partners, as we continue the fight against street racing and stunt driving on our roadways. We also welcome strengthened oversight for the towing industry, such as certification of operators and customer service standards. As we saw with our own Project Platinum, increasing incidents of violence between rival tow truck companies and competing for control of the towing market must be addressed by provincial regulation."
- Chief Jim MacSween
York Regional Police
"On behalf of the Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), we applaud Minister Mulroney for taking steps to add a critical layer of protection for the men and women who build and maintain Ontario’s roads. The health and safety of LiUNA Members remains of paramount concern and this is an essential step forward to enhance road safety and will continue to ensure that the hardworking, highly-skilled members of LiUNA and Ontario’s workforce are protected."
- Joseph Mancinelli
VP and Regional Manager of Central and Eastern Canada, LiUNA International
"On behalf of the Ontario Recovery Group and the Canadian Towing Association, I congratulate Minister Mulroney and the Ford government for their commitment to resolve the towing industry issues in Ontario through effective legislation. Consumer protection and highway safety initiatives are long overdue. There is no doubt in my mind that the motoring public in Ontario will also be pleased with this exciting initiative."
- Doug Nelson
Executive Director, Ontario Recovery Group (ORG Inc.)
"We support the changes proposed to better address the public risk related to stunt driving. All road users and enforcement professionals are placed at risk on a daily basis. The action to address the callous disregard for others is applauded. We will be a safer province when these regulations take effect."
- Brian J. Patterson
President and CEO, Ontario Safety League
"In Ontario, driving is a privilege and operating a vehicle on our roadways safely is an important social responsibility that we all have to one another. High speeds, stunt, and aggressive driving have no place on our roads and these behaviours put us all unnecessarily at risk. We applaud these changes and hope they will lead to safer roadways in Ontario."
- Chief Superintendent Rohan Thompson
Ontario Provincial Police, Co-Chair OACP Traffic Committee
"I want to thank the Government of Ontario, and in particular Minister Mulroney, for tabling this new legislation. Stunt driving has become a major issue of concern in Mississauga and across all of Peel Region. I strongly believe that this new legislation sends a strong signal that dangerous driving simply won’t be tolerated. This is a significant step forward in making our highways safer for all Ontarians."
- Bonnie Crombie
Mayor, City of Mississauga
"Speeding and stunt driving have been longstanding issues in Toronto that have put the lives of pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers at risk. This new proposed legislation by the government will ensure we are holding those who partake in this illegal and dangerous activity accountable and are working together to keep our streets safe for everyone. I hope that the passing of the MOMS Act will be a needed wake-up call for drivers to follow the rules and to be aware of their actions on the road. We all have a role to play in protecting each other on our roads."
- John Tory
Mayor, City of Toronto