Yes we still have due process up here. (for now)Ontario passes tough street racing law
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 29, 2007 | 5:15 PM ET
Street racers and impaired drivers now face stiffer fines and automatic suspensions of their driver's licences.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Ontario government passed Bill 203, which was introduced this April by Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield in hopes of cracking down on dangerous driving.
Under the new law, minimum fines for street racers will rise to $2,000 from the previous minimum of $200, with the maximum increasing from $1,000 to $10,000 — a penalty Cansfield says is the highest in Canada for street racing.
Cars owned by the street racers can also be seized for up to a week.
"This isn't American Graffiti. This is serious and people are dying," said Ontario Attorney General Michael Bryant about the tougher penalties.
The bill was passed hours after the sentencing of two men in the death of a Toronto taxi driver that made headlines last year when the duo was accused of street racing.
Both 20-year-old men were handed conditional sentences of two years less a day after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death. One of their cars slammed into the cab in a high-speed collision, but their lawyer argued they were just speeding.
A few people (those with a political agenda) would like to see cars crushed. It appears it's mostly the ricers that are giving the performance enthusiasts the bad name but unfortunately there have been some major incidents involving kids with Vettes.MICHAEL OLIVEIRA
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail
June 27, 2007 at 5:16 AM EDT
TORONTO — Calls from Ontario's top cop to combat the scourge of street racing with police planes and tougher legislation will be given close consideration, the province said yesterday.
While OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino's report on how to implement his ideas is likely weeks away, two cabinet ministers who count the controversial issue among their files said they would consider any proposals he makes.
"We would look at anything the commissioner brought forward, I mean that quite sincerely," Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield said yesterday. "His officers are really where it's happening - they're on the street, they understand these issues - so we would look very closely at any suggestions that he brought forward and work with them on those suggestions."
On Monday, Commissioner Fantino said he wanted planes to monitor highways for aggressive drivers. He also called on the government to amend legislation so any driver travelling 50 kilometres an hour over the speed limit would be considered a street racer and have their car seized.
Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter agreed yesterday that the province needs to step up the enforcement of speed limits because aggressive drivers aren't slowing down.
"We [must] eliminate these people who don't realize that when they're speeding and when they're driving aggressively and recklessly, they're in control of what's potentially a deadly weapon," he said.
The ministers' words came on the same day Ontario's Attorney-General announced plans to appeal the sentences of two young Toronto men involved in a high-speed crash that killed a taxi driver.
Wang-Piao Dumani Ross and Alexander Ryazanov, both 20, pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving causing death for their roles in the Jan. 24, 2006, death of 46-year-old Tahir Khan.
Last month the men were handed two-year conditional sentences, including 12 months of house arrest, 150 hours of community service and four-year driving prohibitions.
The sentence drew the ire of many observers who felt the punishment was too lenient.
Brendan Crawley, a spokesman for Attorney-General Michael Bryant, confirmed the Crown's plans to appeal, but refused to comment further.
New Democrat Peter Kormos said he likes the idea of police planes but added that the government shouldn't be taking cues from Commissioner Fantino, who should be enforcing the laws, not making them.
Canadian Press with a report from Matt Hartley