Eye in the sky catches speeders
Posted By Pete Fisher
Posted 18 hours ago
OPPís air surveillance unit, with ground support, tracked speeding and other driving offences on Highway 401 in the Port Hope area on the weekend.
Yesterday, one person was charged under the provinceís so-called stunt driving legislation, which is officially called the Safer Roads for a Safer Ontario Act.
OPP Sgt. Norm Shaw said speeds have come down but ďfar too many drivers (are) travelling at 135 kilometres an hour and over.Ē
In just over five hours in the Wesleyville area yesterday, OPP say they laid a total of 77 speeding charges as well as four for following too closely, one for driving with a suspended licence and four for documentation infractions.
On Friday and Saturday three people were charged under the stunt driving legislation and had their vehicles impounded. One driver was from California, police say.
In just under four hours, OPP handed out 48 speeding tickets along with the stunt driving charges. Nine other charges were laid as a result of stops for items involving improper validation stickers.
Among those charged Friday was a son who couldnít face his motherís wrath after he was charged under Ontarioís stunt driving legislation and her car impounded for seven days.
"I havenít called her yet, I donít know what to say," said the 18-year-old from Whitby who wouldnít give his name as a tow truck hooked up the car shortly before midnight.
He was pulled over on Highway 401 at Cobourg late in the evening and charged with travelling 163 kilometres an hour in a 100 km-h zone. He said he was on his way home after picking up his girlfriend in Kingston.
"I was driving down the road and I didnít notice (the) speed I guess, listening to Tom Petty (Free Falliní) and I got pulled over," he said.
The police officer said he had paced him the vehicle for more than 20 minutes.
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Although the driver said he knew "somewhat" about the legislation, he was unaware of the minimum $2,000 fine.
"Are you sure?" he asked when told of the fine.
Along with the fine and impounding of his motherís car, his licence was suspended for seven days.
"I think impounding is a little extreme when itís not my car, itís my mother's ó taking my licence would make more sense.
"Now sheís out of a ride."
Northumberland OPP Sgt. Jeff Martin said the legislation has helped to reduce speeds along the 401.
Police have heard positive feedback from the new law, he said, but he accepts the fact police will not be able to completely stop excessive speeding.
"But we certainly hope we are making a difference ó and I think we are."
OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino stated the legislation is saving lives, "one irresponsible driver at a time."
There were 130 fewer fatalities in 2008 compared to 2007 on OPP-patrolled highways, he said, so not only were lives saved but there was a lesser impact on the health-care system.
Article ID# 1427230
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