We feel the need, the need for less speed. With roads seeing less and less traffic in recent weeks, police are handing out more Toronto stunt driving charges against motorists caught in the act. And if the effects of social distancing on traffic weren't clear enough, April 2020 has so far seen 550% more stunt charges than the same period last year.
Although a full picture is not yet available since Toronto Police only started a harder crackdown in recent days, Sgt. Murray Campbell told Narcity an alarming trend is already clear.
Sgt. Campbell told Narcity by email that the force is currently in the middle of their enforcement campaign, which sees a particular focus on apprehending speeding and aggressive drivers on the streets of the 6ix.
And the numbers are already obviously "staggeringly bad," he says.
"A quick check, specific to stunt driving charges, which may include driving over 50km/h over the speed limit and other stunt offences, has shown a significant increase compared to last year," Sgt. Campbell tells Narcity.
He explained that April 1-20, 2019 saw 23 stunt driving charges laid by TPS. The same period in 2020 saw 150, a 550% surge.
"It is disappointing that drivers are putting so many at risk, including themselves, while we all are having to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak and our healthcare system is stretched so thin," Sgt. Campbell added.
We are all noticing reduced traffic during #COVIDー19. @TorontoPolice continue to conduct enforcement, focusing on… https://t.co/uEEQjJDGs8— TPS Traffic Services (@TPS Traffic Services)1587420458.0
"The Toronto Police continue to do all that they can to keep the citizens of Toronto safe, including the strategic targeted enforcement of those that choose to speed and drive aggressively," he concluded.
Sgt. Campbell added that more complete stats will be available sometime next week, at the end of the blitz.
Since March, drivers have been spotted being reckless on the roads and a lot of it seemingly has to do with the reduced amount of traffic that is seen on the roads in the GTA.
In one week - Over 100 vehicles impounded and drivers charged with #StreetRacing in the #GTA. What seems to be the… https://t.co/npsktnOc8Y— OPP Highway Safety Division (@OPP Highway Safety Division)1587483952.0
Similar trends have been seen by other regional police services, too.
And, according to a tweet by the OPP Highway Safety Division, in just one week, the OPP impounded over 100 vehicles and charged drivers with street racing in the GTA.
The OPP has seen its fair share of reckless drivers, of course.
Let's hope these recent charges are not quite like the time an Ontario teen was caught driving as fast as a plane.
We all like the jetsetting life, but that's taking it too far.