Chronic speeders not slowing down

TORONTO — In a period of less than a month, Ontario Provincial Police and other police forces around the province have nabbed more than 700 speeders doing at least 50 km/h over the posted limit. Most were caught in and around southern Ontario, with a fair percentage caught on two-lane provincial highways elsewhere.

As of Friday, Oct. 19, 704 speeders have lost their cars and their licenses for the mandatory seven-day period, and most face fines ranging from a minimum of $2,000 to a maximum of $10,000.

OPP sergeant Cam Woolley told Today’s Trucking that various police forces have been averaging about 40 stops a day under tough new legislation aimed at stopping recklessly speeding drivers.

“I wish I could say I was shocked,” Woolley says. “We see this kind of thing everyday — as the numbers show. It’s a real problem. Now we’ve a least got a law with teeth.”

The average age of the chronic speeder is 30. Most are male, and among males, the average age is 27. The age most represented was 22.

Woolley says about half the drivers caught speeding 50 km over the limit are often engaged in other illegal activities such as impaired driving, or driving under suspension. Several have been caught smoking dope while driving, and several others were criminals with outstanding warrants or persons wanted in connection with deportation orders.

Among the notable arrests:

~ Three street racers were nabbed on a rural road near London, Ont. doing 196 km in a 80-km zone.

~ There is one report of a truck (Woolley doesn’t know if it was a tractor-trailer or a straight truck) doing 120 km in a 50-km zone through a small town in northern Ontario.

~ There have been several 200-km/h charges laid against drivers on 400-series highways.

The law came into effect on September 30, and 28 drivers were caught on the first day. Thanksgiving weekend saw the OPP impound 179 more cars, including the Audi and the BMW involved in the horrific accident on Highway 50 where two women lost their lives.

By the time the legislation was eight days old, the total had reached 327. With the count now at more than 700, Woolley says it’s now a question of what happens first, “The speeders run out of cars, or they finally get the point that we’re getting serious about this.”

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