Saanich police ticketed 16 drivers for excessive speeding over the last 30 days.
Between March 7 and April 7, traffic and patrol officers stopped 16 drivers who were each clocked at more than 40 km/h over the speed limit – eight times the number of speeders stopped this time last year, said Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the Saanich Police Department.
Less traffic, more speeders: Our Traffic and Patrol officers have impounded 16 vehicles over the last 30 days for Excessive Speeding (+40 km/hr over). Same period last month…just two impounds. Two clocked at 151 and 153 km/h in 80 zone #SlowDown #SaferRoadsBC #footoffthegas pic.twitter.com/zBwJFd2yrU
— Saanich Police (@SaanichPolice) April 7, 2020
The majority of the drivers were stopped on the Pat Bay Highway, Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue, he said.
Anastasiades added that two of the drivers in “family vehicles” were caught driving 151 km/h and 153 km/h respectively on the Pat Bay Highway where the limit is 80 km/h. Another driver was stopped for going 119 km/h in the construction zone near the McKenzie Interchange.
Drivers going 40-60 km/h over the limit received a $368 ticket, a seven-day vehicle impound and three penalty points on their licenses, Anastasiades said. Those who were clocked at more than 60 km/h over the limit were issued a $483 ticket along with the week-long impound and three penalty points.
Officers don’t want to impound vehicles, Anastasiades said, but it’s part of enforcing the Motor Vehicle Act – which police are still doing despite the pandemic. He added that over the past 30 days, including the 16 speeding incidents, 42 vehicles were impounded for various reasons including impairment and driving while prohibited. This is far more than police typically see in a month, he said.
Anastasiades pointed out that police presume that the spike in poor driving could be a result of the roads being more open during the pandemic because B.C. residents have been told to limit non-essential travel to prevent the spread of the virus. However, empty roads are “not an excuse to speed,” he emphasized.
Many in Saanich are “very passionate about road safety – and they should be,” Anastasiades said, adding that drivers who choose to speed aren’t just risking their own lives.
Even a single-vehicle collision or rollover would require emergency crews to come into close contact with the driver who, if medical attention is required, would be taking up a hospital bed in a time when space is limited, he explained.
Anastasiades added that motor vehicle incidents are the leading cause of on the job fatality for police officers in the region.
“What’s the rush?” he asked. “Stay home and take care of yourself and your family.”