Street racing is a dangerous and reckless form of aggressive driving that jeopardizes the safety of many innocent people. 

The Hamilton Police Service takes a zero-tolerance approach when dealing with drivers participating in street racing and will not hesitate to enforce the laws associated with this activity.

The Law

Dangerous driving is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada and is committed when a driver drives with reckless disregard for public safety.  Dangerous driving carries a term of imprisonment for a maximum of 5 years. However, this penalty increases to 10-14 years if somebody was injured or killed as a result of the offence being committed. 

A person found guilty of Dangerous Driving will have a criminal record and will lose their driver’s licence for a minimum of one year. 

Careless driving is an offence under the Highway Traffic Act and is committed when a driver drives a vehicle or a street car on a highway without due car and attention or without reasonable consideration for other people using the highway.  The penalty for careless driving is a fine not less than $400 and not more than $2000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than 6 months. In addition, the driver’s licence may be suspended for a maximum period of 2 years.

A person found guilty of Careless driving will have 6 demerit points added to their driver’s licence as well as a conviction on their driving record.

Criminal negligence is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada and is committed when (a)in doing anything, or (b) in omitting to do anything that is his duty to do, shows a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety or other persons.

The offence of causing bodily harm by criminal negligence while street racing is considered an indictable offence and is punishable by a jail term of up to 14 years. Criminal negligence causing death while street racing is punishable by a possible life imprisonment.

Drivers who participate in a "street race," "driving contest," or "driving stunt" on an Ontario roadway will face an immediate :

  • 7 day licence suspension
  • 7 day vehicle impoundment (regardless if the offender owns the vehicle or not)

Upon conviction offenders will face a:

  • Minimum fine between $200 and $2,000
  • Maximum fine between $1,000 and $10,000
  • Court ordered licence suspension
  • 2 years for a first conviction
  • 10 years for a second conviction

Drivers traveling more than 50 km/h above the posted speed limit are considered to be performing a stunt and are subject to all of the above penalties.

Another thing to consider…

Being involved in street racing can have a negative impact on your vehicle insurance. Some insurance companies will increase your insurance rates or cancel your insurance all together.  Further, if you are involved in a collision while street racing, your insurance may be void.

Road safety is a priority for the Hamilton Police Service.  We want to remind all motorists that dangerous and reckless forms of driving will not be tolerated and offenders should expect full penalties, including licence suspensions and vehicle impoundments.