The new Ontario Provincial Police street racing legislation resulted in the seizure of 175 vehicles and driver’s licences over the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
Since Bill 203 came into effect on Sept. 30, police have impounded 269 vehicles.
“The new legislation allowing us to seize a car and the driver’s licence is a powerful tool that will help all police services combat speeding, street racing and aggressive driving,” OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino said in a statement.
“Unfortunately, too many motorists still don’t believe we will take their car and licence if they are caught doing more than 50 kilometres over the posted speed limit, or if they are making unsafe turns, racing and doing wheelies on a motorcycle, as well as other dangerous manoeuvres.”
The seizures came during the force’s long weekend road safety campaign called Operation Impact.
A serious accident on Highway 400 at the Highway 89 exit sent a man and woman to hospital on Monday afternoon, at the height of the cottage country drive home.
Witnesses said the driver of a car that spun out made several unsafe lane changes before losing control. The SUV rolled, ejecting the male driver.
Police shut down the highway so that a helicopter could airlift the man hospital. Fantino said the “preventable” incident stranded thousands of motorists in both directions for hours.
On Friday afternoon, a motorcyclist was clocked at 210 km/h on Highway 400. A police chase ended when the biker collided with a cruiser at the Highway 7 exit.
Another motorcyclist in western Ontario was stopped for excessive speeding over the weekend. The driver had 21 prior convictions for speeding, one of those for travelling 164 km/h in a 100 km/h zone.
During Operation Impact, thousands of unsafe vehicles were pulled off the roads for safety checks.
Thousands of charges were laid for speeding, careless driving and those not wearing seatbelts. Ministry of Transportation inspectors took 196 vehicles out of service.
So far this year, 361 people have been killed on OPP-patrolled roads, up five per cent over last year.
Excessive speed was involved in 111 of those deaths, a 25 per cent increase from 2006. Non-use of seatbelts has resulted in 99 deaths, an increase of 33 per cent.