OPP Has no Tolerance for High Risk Drivers

High risk drivers Ontario

Summer is nearly upon us — the time of year when high-flying motorcyclists and drivers in modified cars emerge from hibernation and hit the streets.

So in an effort to rid Ontario roadways of these dangerous drivers, law enforcement partners across the province have once again kicked off Project ERASE, an annual initiative meant to Eliminate Racing Activity on Streets Everywhere.

“We’re all aware of the devastating carnage resulting from street racing activity,” York Regional Police Insp. Ed Villamere, of the Road Safety Unit, said Wednesday at a news conference in Canada’s Wonderland parking lot.

“We’ve seen the horrific pictures of mangled cars and we know the tragic loss of life caused by foolish and dangerous racing activity,” he said. “What we don’t see are the broken families and the heartache that they carry with them for the rest of their lives.

“The reality is street racing is illegal and there’s no place for it on our roadways or highways,” Villamere added.

Project ERASE was born from the collaborative efforts of three cops from York Regional Police, Peel Regional Police and the OPP back in 1996.

The initiative has continually evolved since then and now includes 22 police services from across Ontario, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Transportation.

Villamere said the collaborative efforts of the services involved — utilizing planes, helicopters, unmarked vehicles and specially trained officers — will be “intensified” over the summer in an effort to keep “innocent” road users safe.

“Our mission is to change aggressive driving behaviour through education, awareness and strict enforcement of both the Highway Traffic Act and the Criminal Code of Canada,” he said, explaining motorists caught racing or stunt driving should expect a licence suspension and to see their vehicles impounded. No tolerance for high risk drivers this summer.

“If you are hooked on street racing, rest assured you will be hooked up in handcuffs, your car will be hooked up (to a tow truck) and impounded, and your driver’s licence will be suspended,” Villamere vowed.

Officers from police services across Ontario kicked off Project ERASE, Eliminate Racing Activity on Streets Everywhere, out front of Canada’s Wonderland on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. A Corvette Stingray , a Ford Galaxie and other modified cars were on hand to encourage motorists to get their speed fix legally on a racetrack. Project ERASE was born from the collaborative efforts of three cops from York Regional Police, Peel Regional Police and the OPP back in 1996. The initiative has continually evolved since then and now includes 22 police services from across Ontario, the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Transportation.

In 2017, York Regional Police Sgt. Karen Hodge said her force laid over 675 stunt racing charges against motorists caught driving more than 50 kilometres over the posted speed limit.

“We’re here today to ensure that everyone gets home safely this summer and that we don’t have any more tragedies on our roads as a result of speed and racing,” she said.

OPP Staff-Sgt. Chuck Kaizer took aim at street racers calling them “thoughtless, selfish people.”

“They carry out their dangerous activities on public roads with no regard for anyone else,” he said.

Kaiser urged such drivers to “take it off the streets and take it to a track designed to support safe racing activities.”

Credit: Toronto Sun

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