Po­lice say an empty road is no ex­cuse to speed

The Standard (St. Catharines) - - Local - BILL SAWCHUK THE ST. CATHARINES STAN­DARD

Are you tempted to put the pedal to the metal on one of Ni­a­gara’s now empty high­ways?

Ni­a­gara Re­gional Po­lice are telling driv­ers to think again.

Stunt driv­ing charges — of­fi­cers lay them when they catch a driver trav­el­ling more than 50 km/h over the speed limit — climbed in Ni­a­gara last month, com­pared to March last year, Sgt. Josh Klopp said.

He men­tioned three no­table stops, in­clud­ing two on one day.

The first was a driver trav­el­ling at 150 km/h on Ni­a­gara Stone Road in Ni­a­gara-on-the-Lake. The sec­ond stop that day was for a driver go­ing 130 km/h on Fifth Street South in St. Catharines.

Just two days af­ter that, another of­fi­cer charged a mo­torist for go­ing 104 km/h on Eff­in­g­ham Street near Pel­ham Road in St. Catharines.

The High­way Traf­fic Act cov­ers stunt driv­ing and, while it isn’t a crim­i­nal of­fence, the price is steep.

If con­victed, the min­i­mum first-time fine for stunt driv­ing is $2,000. That fine can go up to $10,000. A driver could also end up with six months in jail and a two-year li­cense sus­pen­sion.

Your li­cence is also taken away road­side for seven days, and $180 to get it back from the Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion.

The car is im­pounded for seven days (even if it is your mom’s) with tow­ing charges and im­pound fees.

Klopp said de­spite the high-pro­file stunt driv­ing charges, over­all, there have been fewer traf­fic tick­ets handed out com­pared to the same pe­riod last March.

Some of that may be the re­sult of fewer driv­ers on the road. Klopp said traf­fic safety of­fi­cers are still out con­duct­ing speed en­force­ment.

Const. Phil Gavin said all sworn of­fi­cers are ex­pected to pitch in with traf­fic en­force­ment.

“Traf­fic safety is al­ways im­por­tant to us,” Gavin said. “That never changes. At the same time, we have had to bal­ance all the needs of the com­mu­nity con­cern­ing COVID-19. That may be play­ing a role as well.”

Klopp had a warn­ing for driv­ers — an empty road­way is no ex­cuse to dis­obey traf­fic laws.

“Ex­ces­sive speeds pose a greater risk to the safety of all oc­cu­pants in the ve­hi­cle and the public around them. Any vi­o­la­tors will con­tinue to be is­sued fines along with road­side sus­pen­sions, and we will seize the ve­hi­cle if war­ranted.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.