Stunt driving in Ontario continues at historic levels as police make more arrests
Stunt driving and excessive speeding have been on the rise in Toronto since the beginning of the pandemic. And as people continue to stay home and the city's roads and highways remain primarily empty, it seems some reckless drivers still haven't gotten the message.
Toronto police continue to report a dangerous increase in the practice, with 4986 tickets being issued for speeding, stunt, distracted and aggressive driving between April 10 and 24.
The @TorontoPolice #SlowDownToronto #VisionZero #TrafficSafety focus which ran from April 10th-24th resulted in 4986 tickets being issued for speeding, stunt, distracted & aggressive driving. @ShawnaCoxon @TPScott_baptist @TDotCop @YourTrafficCop @JohnTory pic.twitter.com/DjjBz61nhR— TPS Traffic Services (@TrafficServices) May 1, 2020
Back in March, TPS reported a near 200 per cent increase in stunt driving compared to the same period last year.
During the same time span, between March 15 and March 31, there was also a 35 per cent increase in speeding tickets, with around 65 tickets issued to drivers travelling faster than 50 km/over the speed limit.
Now, more than a month later, it seems dangerous street racing is still a pervasive issue in Toronto and beyond.
215km/h - #Hwy401 wb at Courtice Rd. 49y/o male charged with #StuntDriving/StreetRacing.— OPP Highway Safety Division (@OPP_HSD) May 2, 2020
Responsible driving never has this ending. Enjoy the ride, don’t speed. #7DayLicenceSuspension #7DayVehicleImpound pic.twitter.com/sbLqNlDlXm
During the week of April 21, over 100 vehicles were impounded and drivers charged with street racing by the OPP in the GTA. And between March 23 and April 29, Toronto police filed 222 stunt driving charges, which is up nearly 600 per cent from the same time period in 2019, according to Global News.
In one week - Over 100 vehicles impounded and drivers charged with #StreetRacing in the #GTA.— OPP Highway Safety Division (@OPP_HSD) April 21, 2020
What seems to be the hurry?#SlowDown #7DayLicenceSuspension #7DayVehicleImpound pic.twitter.com/URsMmRq0Zc
Stunt driving is an offence listed in section 172 (1) of the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario.
The act indicates that "No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a roadway in a race or contest, while performing a stunt or on a bet or wager," and anyone guilty of breaking this law is liable to a fine between $2,000 and $10,000 and/or imprisonment for a term of not more than six months. The motorists driver's licence may be also suspended.
On April 15, the city of Toronto said officers from TPS' Vision Zero Enforcement Team would begin rotating in daily shifts across the city to patrol for motorists who are speeding or stunt driving, and police continue to be on high alert for the offence to this day.
"The Toronto Police Service continues to proactively enforce traffic laws in high-collision areas," Toronto Police Service Chief Mark Saunders said in a statement at the time.
"Our officers will be focused on stopping those drivers who are speeding or stunt driving and making our streets unsafe for other users."
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