KAWARTHA LAKES-The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and its municipal policing partners from York Regional Police, Peel Regional Police and the Toronto Police Service have laid hundreds of charges in a crackdown on illegal racing and stunt driving.
At a news conference in Mississauga today, police revealed video examples of the behaviours and the results of a coordinated effort to address illegal racing and stunt driving.
“The manner in which these vehicles are being operated on our roadways is extremely dangerous and puts the lives and safety of every other citizen in jeopardy. These illegal events must be stopped before another innocent life is lost due to someone’s complete and utter disregard for the law.” explained Staff Superintendent Steve Watts, Toronto Police Service
During May and June of this year, 35 charges were laid for actions contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada such as Impaired by Drugs/Alcohol and Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle. Further, 104 charges were laid for speeding and 20 charges for stunt driving contrary to Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA). Police also laid 261 charges for other offences related to the the HTA, Provincial Offences Act, Cannabis Act and Liquor License Act.
“Police leaders can be proud of the dedicated efforts by our members working in collaboration with law enforcement partners to interrupt dangerous and reckless driving behaviours. Racing and stunt driving belong in controlled environments. They have no place on Ontario highways or municipal streets and must be stopped.” said Deputy Commissioner Rose DiMarco – Commander, OPP Traffic Safety and Operational Support
Between January 2021-April 2022, there were 2,852 combined calls for service that referenced excessive speed and illegal racing, 4,106 calls for service that referenced “street racing”, and 72 calls for service that involved collisions linked to illegal racing in OPP Highway Safety Division jurisdiction.
The investigation is ongoing. Police urge anyone with any information to call 9-1-1 if it is safe to do so, their local police service or – to remain anonymous – call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at https://crimestoppers.ca/send-a-tip/.
“As police officers, we are well aware of the devastating results from speeding and the dangerous operation of motor vehicles. What we don’t often see are the broken families and the heartache they carry for the rest of their lives. Our objective is always to ensure the safety of all road users in our communities.” stated Deputy Chief Cecile Hammond, York Regional Police Support Branch.