Hon. Ernie Eves,
Premier of Ontario
Room 281, Main Legislative Building
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 1A1

Re: Concerns Over Bill 241 - Road Safety Act, 2002

Dear Mr. Eves,

We, the undersigned, as responsible automotive enthusiasts, support the government's initiative to provide increased safety to all Ontarians on our roads, and believe strongly that the government has introduced a generally good and well intentioned piece of legislation, but a piece of legislation that needs change in the means by which it proposes to stem illegal street racing.

We believe, as your government and the public at large does, that street racing in the province is a problem that needs a set of rational enforcement and penalty solutions to combat. The currently proposed section of Bill 241 that reads:

"172.2 (1) No person shall drive or permit to be driven on a highway a motor vehicle with a prescribed part, containing a prescribed substance or equipped with prescribed equipment in prescribed circumstances. "

is potentially unjust, unfair and does not directly penalize the illegal racers, but instead will burden and hurt responsible, law abiding hobbyists, amateur and semi-professional, legal, track using race drivers and owners, as well as the already financially weakened and sparse race track facilities that exist in our province. This section as it leads today, threatens to directly discriminate against tens of thousands of hobby car enthusiasts who responsibly alter their cars, and still operate them well within the rules and regulations prescribed by the current Highway Traffic Act and Road Safety Act. Entire clubs of owners that want to fully enjoy the sport spend weekends, summers and considerable money renting track time at closed courses across the province so that the hobby can be enjoyed safely, properly, and within the confines the of law.

From an economic standpoint, this proposal will hurt legitimate local, national, and international equipment and automotive sales and service businesses, and a multi-billion dollar per year parts manufacturing industry that includes divisions of the all of the large domestic and import automobile manufacturers, as well as our own local, smaller custom parts and equipment makers. All of this translates into lost business revenues, lost jobs and lost tax revenues that the province could use to effectively combat the real problem of the racers themselves.

This bill as it stands may, as an unfortunate side effect, in fact push more people into the illegal, unsafe and reprehensible act of street racing, as the track facilities the law abiding individual could go to risk closing for lack of business, and force them to seek their currently legitimate activities in illegal ways. In the end, the only things lost are the safety of the people of Ontario, and the enjoyment and freedom of legitimate, law abiding, safe hobbyists and users of the equipment. In much the same way as unintended marine life such as dolphins are killed in wide spread gill nets for the goal of catching the desired species, this section of the proposed legislation will destroy innocent and responsible users enjoyment of their property, and the livelihoods of sellers and makers of these products and services.

The banning of substances and equipment deemed to be racing equipment in order to combat street racing is of logic similar to banning solvents because a very small percentage of people who purchase them do so to inhale the fumes and die seeking some high or rush. We who have signed on to this petition know that these substances and equipment deemed for racing are not in themselves unsafe, and in fact are as often as not better made than the original equipment they replace or add on to. It is the very small portion of the population that uses otherwise safe equipment illegally that is the problem.

We ask you, and your cabinet to review the goals of section 172.2 under the Bill, and are sure you will find that this clause will not stop street racing, but can only hurt those who use the products legally and safely. Enforcement and penalty for those illegally street racing is the only fair and just solution. Elimination of a broadly loved, and safe pastime is not.

We ask then that Part X, Section 172.2 of the proposed Road Safety Act, 2002 be removed from the legislation, and suggest that to achieve the goal of reducing or eliminating illegal street racing, that more targeted enforcement and penalties for illegal activities be this section's replacement.

We take this opportunity to thank you for your attention to our concerns, and look forward to having an opportunity to work with the government to enact fair legislation that improves road safety for all Ontarians, while not impinging on legitimate and reasonable activities of automotive enthusiasts.


The Undersigned

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