Saanich police respond to criticism after speeding centenarian let off with a warning

Though some comments supported the officer's judgement, many people questioned why a ticket wasn't given

Saanich police last week took the unusual step of defending one of its officers, following a flood of criticisms received about the story of a 100-year-old driver who wasn’t fined even though he had been caught speeding.

The Saanich News first ran the story in our Friday, March 9 edition. The traffic safety officer was conducting speed enforcement on Cordova Bay Road March 6.

An incoming vehicle was clocked travelling 50 km/h in a school zone. When the car was pulled over, the officer found that the driver was a centenarian with a spotless driving record.

He was let off with a warning.

The story was picked up by other news outlets across Canada, including the Toronto Star.

Sgt. Dean Jantzen said the incident garnered a lot more public attention than expected.

Police received comments in support of the officer, but they also heard from many people who questioned why a ticket wasn’t given, even though the senior was clocked speeding in a school zone.

“We are always, always mindful that each and every officer on the streets has discretionary authority in situations such as that,” Jantzen said. “It’s difficult to armchair quarterback that when you’re not there in the moment.”

The News received a number of letters and comments about the story.

“Being a grandfather, I expect drivers to respect the speed limit within my granddaughter’s school zone. Equally, I expect those drivers that exceed the limit … to be severely reprimanded, charged and fined,” wrote one Uxbridge, Ont. resident, who read about the incident in the Star.

The police department’s response, posted on its website, stated that the officer has to “weigh the totality of the circumstances and establish an effective means of correcting or preventing similar behaviour.

“Likely taken into consideration in this case was the driver’s 84 years of clean driving, and the officer’s recognition that a ticket with a fine was perhaps not required to correct the driving behaviour,” Const. Matt Cawsey wrote on the website. “The purpose (of traffic enforcement) is not punitive, but preventative and corrective.”

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Sooke RCMP seized cocaine, ketamine, MDMA, prescription pills, $6,000 cash, a machete and pepper spray during a bust June 15. (Courtesy of Sooke RCMP)
Sooke RCMP seize drugs, machete, pepper spray

Man arrested near Evergeen Mall following drug deal

COVID-19 exposures have been reported at Colquitz Middle School and Tillicum Elementary School, both on June 14. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
Two Saanich schools report COVID-19 exposures

Exposures reported at Colquitz Middle School and Tillicum Elementary School

This conceptual rendering shows revisions to the proposed warehouse in Sidney on land under the authority of the Victoria Airport Authority. York Realty, which plans to build, then lease the building, said significant changes to the the massing and height of the building respond to community feedback. Additional feedback can be submitted until June 30. (Screencap/York Realty)
Sidney warehouse proposal lands Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce endorsement

Public has until June 30 to submit additional comments after significant modifications

Staff will be reviewing public feedback from second-stage designs for cycling infrastructure in James Bay, part of the City of Victoria’s 32-kilometre network. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria sends James Bay bike lanes choice to next phase

Design modifications based on community input to be delivered to council this summer

An eastern cottontail rabbit on the UVic campus. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Wild rabbits persist at the University of Victoria

Feral rabbits are still absent, but another non-native species has arrived on campus

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

Most Read