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Now more than ever: talk to your teen about reckless driving offences

The last few months have been a period of serious adjustment for our entire country - and the world at large. The term "social distancing" has gained regular use in our vocabulary. Staying at home whenever possible and wearing masks whenever we go out has become the new normal.

At a time when so many Canadians are reducing their time behind the wheel, the comparatively empty roads have led to an unexpected phenomenon. Reckless driving has reached a staggeringly high rate.

Excessive speeding, street racing and stunt driving are becoming alarmingly common. In Ontario, reckless driving charges have jumped by 550% compared to charges the province saw a year ago. One teenager was caught driving his parents' car at a whopping 308 kilometres per hour. The damage such driving behaviour could inflict on innocent lives is terrifying.

Understanding the risk

Talk to your child about the risks of reckless driving. In addition to the personal risks such actions have on your child and others, dangerous driving is also a criminal offence under Canadian law.

In Ontario, the penalties for reckless driving are tough. If you're caught driving in excess of 50 kilometres over the speed limit, you can face:

  • Immediate impoundment of your vehicle
  • License suspension for seven days - with a possible two-year suspension if you're convicted
  • Fines of up to $10,000
  • Six months in jail
  • Six demerit points
  • Significant spike in insurance rates for three years

These penalties increase if someone gets injured or killed as a result of your dangerous driving.

As a child, you may have felt like you were invincible. But as a parent, you know you should do everything you can to protect your child from making careless mistakes that could destroy their future. One conversation could make all the difference.

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