Bill 213 to be re-introduced to increase fines for driving causing death or bodily harm

Published: March 30, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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A bill that proposes to bring stricter penalties for careless driving causing death or bodily harm will be reintroduced in the legislature. A Hamilton-area MPP says the bill will bring an increased minimum fine of $2,000 and will fall under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act.

Bill 213, An Act to amend the Highway Traffic Act with respect to careless driving causing death or bodily harm, was FIRST tabled June 7 at Queen’s Park.

The bill “aims to recognize and provide a tool for collisions that result in serious injury or death by creating a separate offence of careless driving causing death or bodily harm,” said Eleanor McMahon, Liberal MPP for Burlington, on June 9 during second reading. “Bill 213, if passed, would increase penalties under this new category, making a clear distinction between careless driving and careless driving causing death or bodily harm. It will also give police officers more time to investigate, and collision reconstructionists the time they need to do these often painstaking investigations.”

Bill 213 has previously been referred to committee but was killed when Premier Kathleen Wynne  prorogued the legislature last year.

Liberal MPP Ted McMeekin is reviving the proposal and presented a petition requesting “that the government throw its full support behind Bill 213 and the call for increased fines, licence suspension and imprisonment related to careless driving in Ontario.”

Speaking to Canadian Underwriter, McMeekin said the bill will be revised soon and will look to set a minimum fine of $2,000 and a maximum of $50,000.

“Currently, under the Highway Traffic Act, the minimum fine for careless driving is $400 and the maximum is $2,000. Drivers could face up to six demerit points, a licence suspension of up to two years, and up to six months in prison, although this is rarely, if ever, delivered as a sentence.”