Mnjikaning Police have enlisted the help of a high-tech radar tool to track down the drivers who roar through their region and endanger lives.
Police in the community east of Orillia are growing increasingly concerned over the number of drivers who ignore posted warnings and speed through a community safety zone along Rama Road.
The designated zone encompasses a school, an arena and neighbourhoods with young children.
“There are lots of signs and warnings,” Chief Dave Whitlow added of the effort to educate drivers.
“There are people in that area, day and night.”
The local force recently acquired laser radar capable of tracking the speed of vehicles with pinpoint precision.
The device is a marked improvement over an earlier and less accurate model that simply tracked the largest moving object within its range, said Whitlow.
Police will be enforcing the speed limit “quite heavily,” Whitlow warned.
Officers on Tuesday evening charged a 49-year-old Whitby man with racing along Rama Road in front of the MASK arena.
He was traveling at more than double the posted speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour.
His license was suspended for seven days and his vehicle was towed and impounded under a relatively new provincial law targeting dangerous driving.
He could offer no explanation for his speed, police said.
“That is street racing,” added Whitlow, noting that others have been charged under the law.
In March, a Barrie man had his car impounded and his license suspended after police caught him motoring through the same school zone at a breezy 108 kilometers per hour.
Drivers commonly speed through the zone, which was designated about six years ago and runs for approximately 1.5 kilometers, said Const. Jules McKenzie.
“We can acquire a significant amount of charges, day or night,” said McKenzie. “You could almost make a career out of (ticketing for driving offenses) on Rama Road.”
Motorists clocked at 50 kilometres over the speed limit face fines ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 and the potential for a maximum jail sentence of six months.
The penalties also apply to drivers who perform stunts such as spinning, sliding, racing side-by-side with another vehicle, or intentionally lifting the vehicle's tires from the road.