Orillia, Ontario – Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers are correctly interpreting Section 172 of the Highway Traffic Act and will continue to impound the vehicles and suspend the licenses of motorists caught driving more than 50 km/h over the posted speed, said OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino.
Fantino said that he was responding to remarks by some politicians and members of the media indicating that OPP officers don’t understand the street racing legislation or are not interpreting it correctly.
“OPP officers are doing a great job of apprehending the most dangerous drivers,” Fantino said. “It is our job to lay the charges; once that happens, it’s up to the judiciary system beyond the police to deal with each case individually. We believe the rest of the judicial system is as committed to saving lives as we are. Regardless of the uninformed rhetoric to the contrary, we know that our efforts are achieving very positive results.”
Fantino said that fatalities on highways the OPP patrols are down 34.4 per cent this year so far, and speed-related fatalities are down 41.9 per cent over the same period last year. So far this year, 37 of the 122 fatalities in the province were speed-related.
“It’s very disappointing to us and our front-line officers that they are being criticized for doing their jobs,” Fantino said. “It’s not the OPP’s role to determine whether the penalty is too harsh. Our role is to make Ontario’s roads even safer than they are now and to protect the citizens of Ontario and visitors to the province against aggressive drivers, those who speed or drink and drive.”