In the last year, to much fanfare, the government of Ontario passed Bill 203 – Safer Roads for a Safer Ontario Act. According to the MTO website, along with new blue lights for Police, the law also:
Increases fines for street racers and aggressive drivers, including those who drive 50 km/h or more over the posted speed limit, to $10,000 and allows police to immediately suspend the driver’s licence and impound the vehicle for seven days.
The word “immediately” speaks volumes about how the law is being enforced in Ontario; thousands of drivers have been punished financially via towing charges, fines, and time without a license (not being able to drive to work for seven days can hurt), but later found to be guilty of a lesser crime when they have their day in court.
Take the story of George. He rides a motorcycle, and in traffic he did a silly thing: he lane-split (filtered, drove between two lanes of stationary traffic) during rush-hour gridlock to get off the highway. He deserves a fine; instead he lost his license and his motorcycle fighting the “stunting” charge. The end result: an “illegal lane change” fine, and a few hundred dollars. He has already paid thousands.
CBC – Bill 203 Casting too wide of a net? (cbc.ca – video clip)
The history of this, from George’s point of view, can be found on the forum GTAMotorcycle.com: Heading to court, CBC coverage.
Anyways, worth a look. The interesting thing to note is that Ontario’s roads are, kilometer for kilometer, some of the safest in the world (if not the safest). I don’t know whether we ought to be attributing that to enforcement, the laws, or the giant grid of incredibly safe megahighways that run across the populated centres of this province. Hey MTO, credit where credit is due.