Province Begins Vehicle Impoundment Program

TORONTO, Feb. 12, 1999 /CNW/ – Effective February 16, 1999, Ontario will begin impounding vehicles driven by persons who continue to drive while suspended for a Criminal Code conviction.

“Suspended drivers who have lost their driving privileges because they were convicted of serious offences such as impaired driving or leaving the scene of an accident should not be on our roads,” said Transportation Minister Tony Clement. “If taking away their licence isn’t enough, then we’ll take away their vehicles as well.

Under the program, the province will impound vehicles driven by any person apprehended for driving while suspended for a Criminal Code offence for a minimum of 45 days. Impaired driving offences account for about 85 per cent of all such convictions.

Vehicle owners will be responsible for paying all towing and storage costs, which are expected to range from $900 to $1,100 per vehicle. Impoundment yards are being set up across the province to hold impounded vehicles.

“With this program, vehicle owners now have a greater responsibility for ensuring that any person borrowing their vehicle has a valid driver’s licence,” said Mr. Clement. “To help vehicle owners check this information quickly and easily, the province has set up an automated telephone hotline at 1-900-565-6555.”

Starting in May, owners can quickly check the validity of a driver’s licence through MTO’s web site atwww.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/check.htm.

Vehicle owners can also check whether a person’s driver’s licence is valid by obtaining a driver abstract from one of the province’s private or public licence issuing offices, or by using one of the province’s self-serve kiosks.

Vehicle impoundment is the final measure being implemented from Bill 138, the Comprehensive Road Safety Act, 1997. Last November, the province launched an education and warning period leading up to the launch of the program.

Ontario has also had a commercial vehicle impoundment program since February 1998, to remove trucks with critical defects from Ontario roads.


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Media contacts:

Dan Schultz
Minister’s Office
Tel.: (416) 327-9200
Fax: (416) 327-9188

Communications Branch
Ministry of Transportation
Tel.: (416) 235-4102
Fax: (416) 235-4841