Toronto police find 200 cars at illegal Fast & Furious-style street racing meetup
Whether they've heard it through the grapevine or with their own ears in the dead of night, most Toronto residents are aware at this point that stunt driving has been way, way up since traffic slowed down on city roads and highways amid the pandemic.
Figures released late last month by Toronto Police show a 600 per cent jump in stunt driving incidents between March 23 and April 27 of 2020, from just 32 in 2019 to 222 during the same time period this year.
Whether it's because a lot of guys with "inadequacies," as Mayor John Tory once put it, just moved into town or, much more likely, the fact that empty roadways are tempting super cool guys to go buzz around the Gardiner, the situation is beyond ridiculous.
OPP Sgt. Kerry Schmidt revealed yesterday in a Periscope chastising some 19-year-old who was clocked doing 308 km/h on the QEW in his dad's car that at least 15 vehicles have been pulled off the road every single day since May 1 for stunt driving offences — and that's only by provincial police.
On Saturday night alone, as many as 200 vehicles were busted engaging in what Toronto Police Const. Alex Li later described as something like a scene out of the "Fast & Furious" film franchise.
Police say they were first called to the Queensway and East Mall area around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday for reports of a "large crowd gathering at a parking lot."
Witnesses reported that vehicles could be seen doing donuts, burnouts and otherwise performing activities that could be considered "dangerous operation of a motor vehicle," an offence which is punishable under the Criminal Code of Canada.
Fast & Furious: The Mississauga Chronicles— Jenny Forever (@very_lame) May 10, 2020
Upon arrival, officers are said to have found between 150 and 200 cars in the parking lot.
The vehicles took off "at a high rate of speed" and police noted that they'd received information the vehicles were street racing on the Queensway, Hwy 427 and the Gardiner Expressway.
Police did not say whether any members of the group were arrested or charged, by Const. Edward Parks did tell the Canadian Press that the drivers were "part of a known stunt-driving group in the city."
While dangerous driving, like impaired driving, carries serious criminal charges, stunt driving in particular is an offence punished under Ontario's Highway Traffic Act.
Based on the behaviours described by police, those involved in Saturday night's meetup could likely be charged under both federal and provincial laws.
Based on how excruciatingly loud they are when they drive by my neighbourhood at night, it also stands to reason that they could be charged under Toronto's newly-updated noise bylaw.
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