Ontario expands Vehicle Impoundment and Increases Penalties – HTA (Dec.1/10)

Updated: see previous post December 10, 2009 Increased Fines & Penalties in New Year, August 29, 2010 Auto Insurance Companies Whine about Medical Costs, August 22, 2010 Auto Insurance Rules Change September 1, 2010 (Ontario) July 26, 2010 Novice/Young Driver’s in Ontario Can No Longer Drink & Drive (Aug.1/10), July 19, 2009 Insurance Rates Skyrocket in Ontario, June 24, 2009 Bill 126, Road Safety Act, 2009, May 18, 2009 Ontario Auto Insurance – Reducing Accident Benefits from 100 to 25 Thousand Dollars.

The McGuinty Government has made some considerable changes to the Highway Traffic Act, under Bill 126 (Ontario Road Safety Act) which comes into effect on December 1, 2010.

Some of the highlights of the December 1, 2010 amendments:

Permanently Increased Penalties

(the permanent penalties cited below, do not include the victim fine surcharges or court costs, which is added on top of the fine and increases the total payable amount):

  • seat belt charges now carry a minimum fine of $200.00
  • careless driving charges now carry a minimum fine of $400.00
  • proceeding through a red light charge, carries a minimum fine of $200.00 (under sections 144 & 146 of the Highway Traffic Act “HTA”)
  • failing to remain, to return or to assist charges (under section 200 of the HTA), now carry a minimum fine of $400.00
  • On a $200 fine or a $400 fine (on any fine), you would have to add the victim fine surcharge (vfs) and the court cost:
    Example $200 fine + $35.00 vfs + $5.00 court cost = $240.00 Total Payable
    Example $400 fine + $85.00 vfs + $5.00 court cost = $490.00 Total Payable

  • Roadside Impoundment of Motor Vehicles:
    As the law currently stands, if you are accused of stunt driving and are pulled over in Ontario, your driver’s licence is subjected to an administrative suspension for seven (7) days and your motor vehicle is towed and subjected to an administrative vehicle impoundment (both at your expense) for seven (7) days.
  • This administrative vehicle impoundment is being expanded to include other offences (other than stunt driving). As of December 1, 2010 this now includes:
  • – Section 55.1 of the Act currently provides for progressive periods of impoundment of a motor vehicle (45 days for a first impoundment, 90 days for a second impoundment and 180 days for a subsequent impoundment) if a person drives while his or her driver’s licence is under suspension under section 41, 42 or 43 of the Act. This section is re-enacted to make the impoundment effective upon the police officer or officer appointed for carrying out the provisions of the Act detaining the vehicle and not upon an order of impoundment being issued by the Registrar.

    – Bill 126 introduces a new section. Section 55.2 is added to the Act to provide for a shorter impoundment period of seven days if a person drives while his or her driver’s licence is under suspension other than under section 32, 41, 42, 43, 46 or 47 of the Act. As for sections 41.4 and 48.4, the Minister of Transportation may by regulation establish a different scheme of requirements and consequences, including different penalties, for drivers of commercial motor vehicles.

    – Bill 126 adds new section 41.4, which establishes a seven-day administrative impoundment of a motor vehicle if the driver drives a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock device contrary to a condition on his or her driver’s licence.

    – Bill 126 adds new section 48.4, which establishes a seven-day administrative impoundment of a motor vehicle if one of the criteria set out in subsection 48.3 (3) of the Act is met, that is, upon a request being made under the Criminal Code (Canada), the driver of the motor vehicle provides a sample of breath or blood that, on analysis indicates the presence of alcohol in or his or her blood in excess of 80 milligrams in 100 millilitres of blood, or the driver fails or refuses to provide a sample.

    – Bill 126 amends Section 82.1 of the Act. Section 82.1 is similarly amended to provide that the impoundment under that section is effective upon the police officer or officer appointed for carrying out the provisions of the Act detaining the vehicle and not upon an order of impoundment being issued by the Registrar. Another amendment is made to section 82.1 to provide that a commercial motor vehicle or its trailer may be impounded for having a critical defect only if the vehicle is inspected at an inspection station designated by the Registrar.

    Sections 50.2 and 50.3 of the Act are amended to reflect that the impoundments under sections 55.1 and 82.1 are no longer commenced by an order issued by the Registrar.

    The vehicle impoundments in sections 41.4, 48.4, 55.1, 55.2, 82.1 and 172 are to run concurrently.

    For both sections 41.4 and 48.4 of the Act, the Minister of Transportation may by regulation establish a different scheme of requirements and consequences, including different penalties, for drivers of commercial motor vehicles.

    Subsection 1 (8) of the Act currently provides that the period of a suspension or impoundment imposed under the Act is to be determined by counting 24 hours for each day. This is re-enacted so that it only applies to suspensions or impoundments imposed under section 41.4, 48, 48.1, 48.2.1, 48.4, 55.2 or 172.

    PART I
    AMENDMENTS TO THE HIGHWAY TRAFFIC ACT

    Increased Penalties

    The fine for not complying with the Act or regulations respecting seat belts under section 106 is increased from $60 to $500 (the general penalty under section 214 of the Act) to $200 to $1,000.

    The fine for careless driving under section 130 is increased from $200 to $1,000 to $400 to $2,000.

    The fine for not stopping on a red light under sections 144 and 146 is increased from $150 to $500 to $200 to $1,000.

    See today’s post from the Ontario Government website:

    McGuinty Government Protecting Ontario Families

    Starting December 1st, police will have more tools to get suspended and impaired drivers off our roads. This change will also mean added enforcement against people who have had their driver’s licences suspended for consistently not paying family support.

    The new 7-day vehicle impoundment will apply to drivers whose licences are suspended for:

    These changes are part of the Road Safety Act, 2009 and will make Ontario’s roads safer for all drivers.

    The fine for not complying with section 200 (remain or return to scene of accident, provide assistance) is increased from $200 to $1,000 to $400 to $2,000.

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    4 comments

    1. I didn’t pay a seatbelt ticket. $240 turned into $380, plus a suspension. My own fault, but raising the ticket amount up $140 is a little like organized loansharking.

    2. In continuing with the McGuinty governments “POLICE STATE” policy of providing police with the absolute power to inflict punishment at the road side….. without those annoying delays of a court date and judge thing getting in the way….., this is just another step to his absolute power. And raising some needed bootie for his needy voters along the way.

      Stop this now before we are the eastern block!!!

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