Canadian Criminal Law/Offences/Street Racing

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Legislation[edit]

Causing death by criminal negligence (street racing)
249.2 Everyone who by criminal negligence causes death to another person while street racing is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.

2006, c. 14, s. 2.

Causing bodily harm by criminal negligence (street racing)
249.3 Everyone who by criminal negligence causes bodily harm to another person while street racing is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

2006, c. 14, s. 2.

Dangerous operation of motor vehicle while street racing
249.4 (1) Everyone commits an offence who, while street racing, operates a motor vehicle in a manner described in paragraph 249(1)(a).

Punishment
(2) Everyone who commits an offence under subsection (1)

(a) is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; or
(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Dangerous operation causing bodily harm
(3) Everyone who commits an offence under subsection (1) and thereby causes bodily harm to another person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

Dangerous operation causing death
(4) Everyone who commits an offence under subsection (1) and thereby causes the death of another person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life.

2006, c. 14, s. 2.

CCC

Interpretation[edit]

Where there is no direct evidence of a race, the court can consider a number of factors indicative of racing. The factors include:[1]

  1. two vehicles travelling at excessive speeds;
  2. two vehicles being driven aggressively in tandem;
  3. two vehicles in close proximity to each other over a material distance;
  4. one vehicle tailgating the other or other vehicles;
  5. abrupt and unsafe lane changes;
  6. blocking;
  7. bold manoeuvres in and out of traffic;
  8. jockeying for position;
  9. high‑risk passing manoeuvres;
  10. acts or gestures between the drivers;
  11. "lay witness’ opinions that the drivers appeared to be racing although a conclusory statement that the drivers were racing is of minimal evidentiary value without the bases upon which the witness reached that conclusion. It would be akin to seeking to establish dangerous driving where the only evidence was a witness who said, “I was sitting on my porch and the accused drove his car down the road in a dangerous manner."

The absence of any number of factors is not determinative to the court's decision.

  1. R v Machado, 2010 ONSC 277
    R v Gould, 2012 ABCA 339 (CanLII)