Fail to Stop for Police

About

Fail to Stop for Police

Highway Traffic Act s. 216

When signalled or directed to stop by police drivers must immediately stop their vehicles by pulling to the right side of the roadway.

The Highway Traffic Act provide a general power for a police officer acting in the lawful execution of their duties to stop a driver.

There are two laws covered in this section:

  • drivers must stop when requested
  • escape by flight (police chases)

Officer must be readily identifiable

Where directed by a police officer who is readily identifiable to stop the vehicle, the driver shall immediately bring the vehicle to a safe stop.

The driver must have or should have known that he was being request to stop by an identifiable police officer.

Where the court is satisfied that the driver wilfully continued to avoid police when the police officer gave pursuit, then they are guilty of the offence of escape by flight.


Associated offences: Stunt Driving, Racing, Careless Driving

Insurance Implications

Fail to stop and escape by flight will dramatically affect insurance rates for drivers.

A conviction for this offence will be considered a major insurance violation resulting in cancelation or high risk insurance rates.


Driver Records and Abstracts

Once the driver is convicted of a traffic ticket, the court sends a notice to the Ministry of Transportation. Upon receiving the record of conviction from the court the Ministry of Transportation then adds the conviction to the driving record.

Driving abstracts are available to anyone who has the drivers licence number for a fee payable to the Ministry of Transportation.

Therefore the way the insurance company will finds out about the ticket is;

Each insurance company is a private company with their own set of rules and standards.

Some insurance companies will not increase insurance rates for one ticket and others will. The problem is drivers don’t know what the insurance company is going to do, and if asked, there is a chance they will increase it due to the inquiry.

Drivers need to keep their driving records clear.


Fines

There is no out of court fine for fail to stop for police or escape by flight.


Summons to Appear

The police officer is required issue a summons to appear in court for the offence.

The defendant is required to appear before a Justice of the Peace, in person or by way of a legal representative.

Where the defendant or legal representative does not appear the justice can issue a “Bench Summons” (similar to arrest warrant) for their arrest.

Fail to Stop for Police

  • a fine of not less than $1,000 and,
    • not more than $10,000
  • imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or
  • both

Escape by Flight

  • a fine of not less than $5,000, and
    • not more than $25,000
  • imprisonment for not less than 14 days, and
    • not more than 6 months
  • licence suspension
    • 5 years, or
    • not less than 10 years to lifetime
      • where there is bodily injury or death

What a Victim Fine Surcharge?

  • The provincial government adds a victim fine surcharge (VFS) to every non-parking fine imposed under the Provincial Offences Act.
    • It is deposited into a special fund to help victims of crime.
  • The amount of the VFS is usually 20 per cent of the imposed fine.
    • For example, a $100 fine would result in a $20 surcharge.
    • Fines over $1,000 carry a surcharge of 25 per cent.

Penalties

Fail to Stop for Police

  • 7 demerit points
  • 30 day suspension for novice drivers
    • G1 and G2 Drivers
  • a fine of not less than $1,000 and,
    • not more than $10,000
  • imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both
  • dramatic insurance increases

Escape by Flight

  • 7 demerit points
  • a fine of not less than $5,000, and
    • not more than $25,000
  • imprisonment for not less than 14 days, and
    • not more than 6 months
  • licence suspension
    • 5 years, or
    • where there is bodily injury or death
      • not less than 10 years to lifetime


Demerit Points

There are 7 demerit points for Fail to stop for police or escape by flight under section 216 of the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario.

Demerit Point Interviews

Where a driver is required to attend an interview, a letter (Notice of Interview) to notify them of the time, date and location of the meeting.

Where the driver refuses or does not attend, the licence will be suspended.

The fee for a demerit point interview is $50 and must be paid in person at any ServiceOntario Centre.

Failure to pay the interview fee will result in the cancellation of the driver’s licence.


Suspensions

Fail to Stop for Police

  • 30 day suspension for novice drivers
    • G1 and G2 Drivers

Escape by Flight

  • 5 years, or
    • where there is bodily injury or death
      • not less than 10 years to lifetime

Unpaid Fines

Drivers maybe suspended where any fine goes into default.  Where the licence is suspended for an unpaid fine, the licence will be suspended until the payment is made to the court.

The accumulation of demerit points can result in a licence suspension.


Legal Definition

Ontario Highway Traffic Act section 216

(1) A police officer, in the lawful execution of his or her duties and responsibilities, may require the driver of a vehicle, other than a bicycle, to stop and the driver of a vehicle, when signalled or requested to stop by a police officer who is readily identifiable as such, shall immediately come to a safe stop.

Offence

(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable, subject to subsection (3),

(a) to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000;

(b) to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months; or

(c) to both a fine and imprisonment.

Escape by flight

(3) If a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (2) and the court is satisfied on the evidence that the person wilfully continued to avoid police when a police officer gave pursuit,

(a) the person is liable to a fine of not less than $5,000 and not more than $25,000, instead of the fine described in clause (2) (a);

(b) the court shall make an order imprisoning the person for a term of not less than 14 days and not more than six months, instead of the term described in clause (2) (b); and

(c) the court shall make an order suspending the person’s driver’s licence,

(i) for a period of five years, unless subclause (ii) applies, or

(ii) for a period of not less than 10 years, if the court is satisfied on the evidence that the person’s conduct or the pursuit resulted in the death of or bodily harm to any person. 1999, c. 13, s. 1 (1).

Lifetime suspension

(4) An order under subclause (3) (c) (ii) may suspend the person’s driver’s licence for the remainder of the person’s life.

Suspension in addition

(4.1) Except in the case of a suspension for the remainder of the person’s life, a suspension under clause (3) (c) is in addition to any other period for which the person’s licence is suspended and is consecutive to that period.

Notice of suspension

(4.2) Subject to subsection (4.3), in a proceeding for a contravention of subsection (1) in which it is alleged that the person wilfully continued to avoid police when a police officer gave pursuit, the clerk or registrar of the court, before the court accepts the plea of the defendant, shall orally give a notice to the person to the following effect:

“The Highway Traffic Act provides that upon conviction of the offence with which you are charged, in the circumstances indicated therein, your driver’s licence shall be suspended for five years”.


Case Law

Regina v. Dilorenzo Regina v. Bancroft, 1984 CanLII 1965 (ON CA)
1984-02-23 | 22 pages | cited by 10 documents
mens rea — police officer gave pursuit — wilfully continued to avoid — driver s licence — readily identifiable


R. v. Talyanleh, 2007 ONCJ 559 (CanLII)
2007-11-22 | 42 pages
taxicab — streetcar — parked — beyond a reasonable doubt — prosecution
[…] I agree that the burden of proof required to justify a conviction under s. 189a(1) and (2) [now s. 216(1) and s. 216(2)] is lower than that required to justify the imposition of the penalty prescribed by s. 189a(3) [now the escape by flight offence under s. 216(3)]. […] However, unlike s. 189a(1) [now s. 216(1)], s. 189a(3) [now s. 216(3)] does not create a specific offence — it relates to penalty and specifies circumstances in which a three-year licence suspension must be ordered. […] In my view, s. 189a(3) ) [now s. 216(3)], properly construed, requires the prosecution to prove mens rea beyond a reasonable doubt as a precondition to the mandatory licence suspension prescribed by the subsection. […]