A person who operates a motor vehicle is not permitted to engage in a “race” or a “speed test”. Doing so is a breach of a statutory condition in the standard Ontario Automobile Policy.
In Vyas v. Brown, 2020 ONSC 4916, Justice O’Brien noted that the case law indicates that a “race” is a “contest involving speed” whereas a “speed test” is “merely a test of speed”.
The defendant driver in this case was driving on Highway 400 at a speed of 198 to 215 km/h. He struck another vehicle, injuring the passengers in the other vehicle, one of them fatally.
It was argued that the defendant must have been engaged in a speed test on the basis that the only reasonable explanation for his conduct is that he intended to test the speed of the car.
Justice O’Brien rejected this argument, declining to infer that the defendant was engaged in a speed test based on his excessive speed.
The evidence of the defendant driver was that he was just speeding and trying to get home. Justice O’Brien stated that none of the evidence of the defendant suggested that he was interested in or was trying to test the speed of the car.
Therefore, the fact that a driver is traveling at a very high rate of speed (even double the speed limit) does not necessarily mean that he or she is engaged in a speed test. It is difficult to prove to someone was testing the speed of his or her vehicle.