10/2/2007Canada: Ontario Grabs Thirty Cars in One Day
Thirty cars were seized in an Ontario, Canada police blitz as a new policy took effect declaring speeding the equivalent of street racing.
Police in Ontario, Canada seized thirty automobiles within 24 hours after the province's new speeding ticket policy took effect. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) grabbed the first car at 12:01am Sunday and by Monday afternoon the blitz had added another 17 cars to the collection for a total of between $94,000 and $470,000 in citation and towing revenue.
"We gave motorists plenty of warning last week that we would be taking advantage of the new legislation to take these aggressive drivers and speeders off our highways," OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino said.
That legislation, the Safer Roads for a Safer Ontario Act, gave Premier Dalton McGuinty the authority last month to declare driving 50km/h (31 MPH) over the speed limit "street racing" and impose the draconian penalties that had been created to apply to that specific offense. Based solely on the word of a police officer, vehicles and driver's licenses will be confiscated from anyone accused of "extreme speeding" for at least seven days without trial or any hearing.
"There is no appeal from, or right to be heard before, a vehicle detention, driver's license suspension or vehicle impoundment under [the street racing] subsection," the Safer Roads Act states.
Police cited the worst examples as a 23-year-old accused of driving 167km/h (103 MPH) on Highway 403 and a 34-year-old accused of 160km/h (99 MPH) on Highway 401 who both lost their cars. Among the twenty-eight other vehicles grabbed were three rental cars. OPP Chief Superintendent Bill Grodzinski vowed to keep the speed traps running.
"We will continue to go after these drivers," Grodzinski said. "We will be using aerial surveillance and taking full advantage of the new legislation to impound vehicles."