McGuinty Government Puts Brakes On Dangerous Driving
More OPP Officers, New Plane And Stiff Penalties For Extreme Speeders To Improve Road Safety
The McGuinty government is taking another step forward in its plan to make Ontario roads and highways safer by toughening penalties for extreme speeders and investing in more OPP officers, a new airplane and sophisticated surveillance equipment, announced Premier Dalton McGuinty.
"Working with police over the last four years, we've made real progress when it comes to curbing dangerous driving," said Premier McGuinty. "Today, we're moving forward, together. And we're being clear -- if you're reckless on our roads, if you choose to break the law, we consider you a threat to our public safety and you're going to face stiff penalties."
In June, the McGuinty government strengthened penalties for street racers and drunk drivers with its Safer Roads for a Safer Ontario Act. This landmark legislation increased fines for convicted street racers -- up to $10,000, the highest street racing fine in Canada.
Today, the Premier announced the next step in the government's plan to target dangerous driving with a new package of initiatives, including:
- Putting 55 more OPP officers on the roads to fight extreme speeding
- Funding a new OPP plane with high-tech surveillance equipment
- Treating drivers going 50 kilometres or more over the speed limit the same as street racers -- including issuing an immediate seven-day driver's licence suspension at roadside.
These initiatives build on the government's ongoing efforts to combat extreme speeding and aggressive driving. Other measures include:
- Providing more resources to police to intercept aggressive drivers
- Putting 1,000 more police officers on the streets
- Proposing to regulate speed limiters on large commercial trucks.
The Premier joined OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services Monte Kwinter, Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield and OPP officers for today's announcement.
"The addition of these new officers will help us make Ontario's highways safer by enabling us to clear crash scenes more quickly while safeguarding both officers and the public," said Fantino. "By adding aerial traffic support we will be able to target aggressive drivers and street racers."
"Ontarians have the right to travel safely on our roads and we're giving the Ontario Provincial Police a whole new toolkit to crack down on those who threaten public safety," Kwinter said. "Today marks the beginning of a concerted new effort to take those who endanger innocent citizens off our roads."
"Excessive speeding on our roads will not be tolerated. Today's announcement further demonstrates the McGuinty government's commitment to road safety in Ontario," said Cansfield. "With these tougher measures, our government continues to protect those who obey the law from those who choose to break it."
"This is another step forward in our plan to make Ontario's roads the safest in North America," said Premier McGuinty. "We can do more to save lives -- and working together, we will."