Blitz Targets Street Racing
A one-day traffic blitz hosted by Traffic Services resulted in the issuance of nearly 400 tickets in a six-hour period on June 24.
Project ERASE (Eliminate Racing Activity on Streets Everywhere) was a joint Greater Toronto Highway Area police services response to drivers who chose to street race and operate modified vehicles.
“This was about combining resources to conduct zero tolerance Highway Traffic Act and Criminal Code enforcement of Big 4 offences – speeding, aggressive driving, distracted driving and impaired driving – as well as vehicle equipment and vehicle modification offences,” said Traffic Services Sergeant Brett Moore.
He said there has been an escalation in street racing, including taking over city roads for racing.
“This has been heavily talked about in the media and many individual drivers have experienced a loud vehicle or drivers flying past them on the highway,” Moore added. “These types of drivers are becoming bold. They have been seen to use spotters and blocking tactics to interfere with responding officers, surrounding and impeding them from performing their duties. This driving behaviour has a potential for serious injury or death. These extreme driving maneuvers in a crowded area further jeopardize the safety of others in the area.”
The blitz involved 35 officers from seven police services. Toronto Police Auxiliary members along with 22, 41, 42 and 43 Divisions members provided additional support.
“We incorporated a unified radio communications for all the participating services using TPS radios that resulted in a seamless operation,” said Moore, noting it’s truly a coordinated team approach to policing.
Officers were divided into two teams and Toronto Police Traffic Service analysts provided guidance as to where these teams should focus. The deployments were in 2 and 4 Districts and the Don Valley Parkway.
Of the 370 tickets issued, 109 were for speeding, eight for stunt driving (40 to 50 km/h over the speed limit), 21 for improper mufflers, eight for unsafe vehicles and 19 for unnecessary noise. Nine vehicles were impounded because of stunt driving and safety.
“When I look at the numbers, they tell me that there are still quite a few vehicles that have been modified and do not meet the standards under the Highway Traffic Act,” noted Sergeant Paul Qureshi. “The numbers also tell me that the behaviour of aggressive driving and stunt driving needs to be addressed daily because it is putting the public at risk.”
Last month, the York Regional Police Service hosted the first blitz.