If you race, the street is not the place.
That’s the message York Regional Police (YRP) is delivering in partnership with law enforcement services from across the Greater Toronto Area, the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Environment as it launches Project ERASE: Eliminate Racing Activities on Streets Everywhere.
“Project ERASE targets drivers who think they can use the roads as raceways,” says YRP Const. Laura Nicolle. “Throughout the season, officers from police services across the GTA will be watching for vehicles staging to race, vehicles travelling at excessive rates of speed and vehicles that do not meet safety standards.”
In York Region, police helicopter Air2 will work with officers on the ground, directing them to areas where drivers are congregating in advance of racing, speeding or driving aggressively or driving vehicles that have been illegally modified. Footage of previous street racing incidents captured by Air2 can be viewed at https://youtu.be/i5WCl5OnIxk/.
“Aggressive driving and street racing are dangerous, unlawful activities which put innocent people at risk of injury or death,” Nicolle warns. “The real finish line for these drivers may be court, fines, jail, vehicle seizure, a loss of driving privileges or even worse, the hospital or the morgue.”
YRP officers laid more than 1,200 charges related to stunt driving last year and more than 400 charges from the beginning of January through the end of April – a year-over-year increase of 33 per cent. “This trend is extremely concerning as we move into the summer when the greatest volume of incidents normally occur,” says Nicolle.
On the weekend of April 23 to 25, police charged 10 drivers for stunt driving and laid another 22 charges related to illegal vehicle modifications. Vehicles were towed and impounded. Excessive speed has consistently been a contributing factor in many fatal collisions on York Region roads, YRP reports. If you see dangerous driving practices that could cause personal injury or loss of life, you’re urged to call 9-1-1. If possible, share the vehicle’s location, direction of travel, make, model, licence plate number and driver’s description.
Pictured is a screengrab of street racing incidents captured by York Regional Police helicopter Air2.